Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake
Smaller sugar pie pumpkins are more than decorations, they have been bred for flavor in cooking. They are wonderful in pies, and also in this special recipe. A rather stunning cheesecake for fall and winter holidays.
1 cup sugar pie pumpkin purée,
20-25 small ginger snap cookies, crushed
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar or other dry sweetener, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Halve a sugar pie pumpkin and bake cut-sides-down at 350º for about 45 minutes until a fork goes through the flesh easily. Scoop the cooked pumpkin flesh out and purée in a blender or food processor. Excess pumpkin purée can be saved for adding to soup or other dishes. Turn oven to 325º after cooking the pumpkin.
Mix chopped pecans, ginger snap crumbs, and melted butter; press firmly onto bottom of a 9-inch springform pan to form the crust.
Beat cream cheese, 3/4 cup of the sugar and the vanilla extract with a mixer until mixed. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended.
Regular Batter: Remove 1-1/2 cups of the batter; place aside in small bowl. This will be your light colored batter.
Pumpkin Batter: Stir remaining 1/4 cup sugar, the pumpkin purée and spices into remaining batter. Pumpkin purée must not be so hot as to cook eggs at this stage.
Spoon half of the pumpkin batter onto crust in the pan; top with separated spoonfuls of half of the reserved regular batter. Repeat layers until you’ve used up the batters. Swirl through batters with a butter knife to marble the colors.
Bake 55 minutes at 325º or until center is almost set. Check doneness by gently shaking the pan – when it is done only a small bit in the center will jiggle and the rest will be set solid.
Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.
Recipe submitted by Red Fire Farm & Wilhelmina Ryan
Red Fire Farm grows certified organic produce, fruit, garden plants and flowers in Granby and Montague, MA to share with the community through their CSA farm shares and farm stands. Farmers Ryan and Sarah Voiland and the crew work to provide the highest quality, freshest food all year. Visit their Granby farm store at 7 Carver St, Granby, MA or online at redfirefarm.com