Thanksgiving

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Thanksgiving

The crown jewel of Thanksgiving dinner: pumpkin pie. You cannot have a Thanksgiving dinner without it. Each October, we see the local coffee shops and fast food emporiums roll out their pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin spice this and pumpkin spice that. After a sip or two, you're pretty much done.

But this recipe might change that. Despite my best research, the Treasury does not offer a pumpkin pie recipe nor does it offer a nearly identical substitute, like it did for candied sweet potatoes.

But it has a cheesecake recipe. A good one from the Old Original Bookbinders restaurant in Philadelphia. I've had to work a little to turn it into a Thanksgiving dinner pumpkin pie, but the work was worth it because damn.

It's time to commit, people.

This isn't going to be easy. Baking requires precision. Gall. It demands absolute focus and fierce determination. One slip up, one mismeasurement and your pie will leap out of the oven and eat your face off.

No, it won't. There are a lot of steps here, but it's not that hard. You can do it. Hell, I did it. But you do need to commit to a long day of cooking. You're not making one pie, here: you're making two. Sort of.

A pumpkin pie and a cheesecake walk into a bar . . .

The cheesecake recipe from Bookbinders is not that unique. Price praises it for being the best they've ever had but I'm wondering if he didn't get a lot of cheesecake or if the cook side-eyed him in the kitchen and spat out a basic cheesecake, holding back the magical unicorn cheesecake recipe they actually cooked. Because chefs can be protective.

Not all pumpkin pie filling is equal. And home-made is an insane process, don't do it. You'll die. Just get over your made-from-scratch self and order some Libby's.

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 16 oz of cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon REAL vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • i pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • Whipped cream (you can do this)
  • For the crust
  • 3/4 to a full cup ginger snap crumbs
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325°
  • Make the Crust first
  • Mix everything in a large bowl. I like to add nearly a tablespoon of cold water to make it pliable.
  • Press into a pie plate.
  • Freeze for 10 minutes.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes until the smell of this divine thing fills up your kitchen. Set aside.
  • Filling
  • In a large bowl, combine the cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Beat until it's smooth. Blend the eggs in one at a time. Reserve one cup of this batter and lay it into the pie plate over the ginger crust.
  • Add pumpkin and spices into the remaining batter. Stir it up. Spread it over the cheesecake filling.
  • Bake until almost set. Let cool, then keep it in the fridge overnight because you're not a Goddam savage. Serve chilled with whipped cream.
  • Alternative filing method
  • Divide the batters as above, but swirl them into the pie plate.
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