I must confess that I don’t love Thanksgiving food. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t dislike it, but I never get excited about turkey or sweet potatoes, and I’m especially not going to tear down the door for a slice of pumpkin pie. In fact, some day, when I prepare my own Thanksgiving meal, I imagine always making some sort of ethnic food– curry and naan one year, empanadas the next, sushi after that, and so on. However, the day when I cook my own Thanksgiving dinner is not today, and as a food blogger, it is not only expected that I share a few Thanksgiving recipes, it is one of my responsibilities.
So, I took this responsibility very seriously.
I’ve been testing out Thanksgiving food since mid-September. (Thanksgiving in September, anyone?) I tried a few things that I thought I would like, mainly riffs on the old classics, thinking that a twist might make them more appealing to me. Generally, though, that was not the case. Nothing, and I repeat nothing, can make mashed potatoes better than traditional mashed potatoes already are.
But I’m not here to talk about mashed potatoes today, and I unfortunately won’t be writing about them for the near future. I do have pumpkin pie for you, and hopefully, if you’re like most people, that will make you supremely happy.
This is not your run of the mill pumpkin pie. In fact, I think it’s much better than the one you’re used to. This is a pumpkin ginger cheesecake pie with a gingersnap crumb crust: A silky, smooth pumpkin-cream cheese mixture, speckled with candied ginger and framed with a crispy, spicy and sweet crust. It’s good. It’s really, really good. I didn’t mind eating it the first time that I made it in September one bit, and I was quite happy to have it a second time when the pumpkin-themed season started.
Pumpkin ginger cheesecake pie
from Gourmet, November 2006
makes 8 servings
Note: You can make the filling completely in the food processor. Follow the link above for those instructions.
Gingersnap crumb crust:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups gingersnap crumbs
2 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
⅛ teaspoon table salt
1. Lightly butter a pie plate, and preheat the oven to 350F.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together melted butter, cookie crumbs, sugar and salt. Pat evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a pie plate. Bake until crisp, about 15 minutes. Let cool while you prepare the filling.
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup crystallized ginger, chopped
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup milk
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 cup canned solid-packed pumpkin
1. Pulse sugar and ginger in a food processor until it is finely chopped. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer.
2. Add cream cheese to the sugar/ginger mixture and cream (3) until fluffy. Add eggs, milk, flour, nutmeg and salt, and mix (2) until combined, about 1 minute.
3. Reserve ⅔ cup cream cheese mixture in another bowl. Add pumpkin to the remaining cream cheese mixture, and mix (2) until well combined.
4. Pour pumpkin-cream cheese mixture into the crust. Drizzle the cream cheese mixture over the pumpkin, and then, using a butter knife, decoratively swirl into the pumpkin.
5. Bake the pie at 350F until the center is set, about 40 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Cover and chill at least 4 hours. Serve cold.