Pie can be one of the hardest things to do. The crust has to be just perfect or it gets too tough or too soggy. Then ask people what their favorite part of the Pumpkin Pie is and most will say the filling.
Cheesecake is the prefect vehicle for this. It’s like pie. The pumpkin and the spiced take the edge off of the “cheese flavor” and there’s even still a little crust for those who love that contrast.
The nice thing about this crust is that it’s made from gingersnaps. Then you add a little down sugar and butter. Chill. Bake for about 10 minutes. Cool. Then fill. For mine I use my Triple Ginger Cookies. These were inspired but Alice Medrich’s Screaming Ginger Cookie. However, I increased the flour to get a consistency I liked. Once the dough was scooped then it was gently rolled in turbinado sugar. Once baked these cookies naturally cracked giving them great texture and appearance.
The cheesecake recipe comes from Fine Cooking Magazine. I used a 10-inch spring form pan so it wasn’t so tall and I used fresh roasted pumpkin instead of canned. I also did my ginger cookies instead of the gingersnaps for the crust. Because I used fresh roasted pumpkin my batter didn’t have the orange color I get from commercial pumpkins so I did cheat and added a little orange food coloring to the batter to get the color I was looking for.
This was also the first time I had opted for doing the “water-bath” technique for baking the cheesecake. This seemed to work really well and it definitely left we with a much moister cake as the end product from all the steam.
The key to making a really great cheese cake at home is patience. You can’t rush the baking or the cooling but if you give it time it does all the work on it’s own.