Monday, November 23, 2009

Pumpkin Pie

I got this recipe from my technique class at Williams-Sonoma last week and have to share it.  I'm not a big fan of pumpkin cheesecake, but this was fantastic! It is so good that my mom asked me to make it for Thanksgiving this year.

They made it using their Pecan Pumpkin Butter.  I've written out the recipe as I received it and included the alternate filling instructions at the end of this recipe.  Enjoy!!

Gingersnap Crust:
  • 1/4 lb. gingersnaps (about 20 small cookies)
  • 1/3 cup pecan halves
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted


  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar

Filling (original recipe):
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree

Here are the instructions for the original recipe that they gave us at class.

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan.

To make the crust, in a food processor, combine the gingersnaps and pecans and process until crumbly.  Add the brown sugar and melted butter and pulse for a few seconds to blend.  Transfer the crumb mixture to the prepared pan.  Use your fingers to pat the mixture into the bottom and evenly all the way up the sides of the pan.  Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

To make the filling, in a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and cloves.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy.  Using a rubber spatula, occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Gradually add the brown sugar mixture, beating until smooth.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Using the spatula, scrape the batter into the chilled crust and smooth to top.

Bake the cheesecake until set or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 - 40 minutes.  transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the topping, set aside 10 pecan halves and coarsely chop the rest.  In a small fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter.  Add all of the pecans, sprinkle with the granulated sugar and cook, stirring, until the sugar melts and the nuts are toasted and caramel coated.  Transfer the nut mixture to a plate and let cool completely, then store in an airtight container.  Just before serving, sprinkle the chopped pecans over the cheesecake and arrange the halves evenly around the perimeter.  Serves 10 to 12.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Thanksgiving Entertaining, by Lou Seibert Pappas (Simon & Schuster, 2005).

**Alternative Filling for Pumpkin Cheesecake

  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 jar Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter (only available at Williams-Sonoma)
For the alternative filling recipe, in a small bowl, mix the brown sugar with the pecan pumpkin butter.  Follow the rest of the recipe as written above.

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