Cheesecake may be a classic dessert, but I’d rarely order a slice over anything chocolate or any other member of the cake family. For some reason though, this particular recipe for pumpkin cheesecake stuck with me from the moment I saw it. It completely met my expectations – the pumpkin filling had a great texture (fluffy but still dense) and the sweet frosting-like marshmallow-sour cream topping complemented the spicy ginger cookie crust. The last bite is long gone since I made it for Christmas dinner, but I certainly wish I had a slice sitting in front of me right now. This would be a great substitute for a Thankgiving pumpkin pie (or for dessert any day of the year).
The ingredient list looks intimidating, but the preparation is relatively simple with the right equipment. I followed the recipe as written, but halved it to accommodate my 7-inch springform pan. Tip: Halving an egg may sound impossible, but I simply crack the odd one into a small bowl, beat it lightly, and eyeball half the volume.
I forgot to stir the melted marshmallow as it cooled. My topping was not perfectly smooth but that didn’t stop it from being extremely tasty. My only other recommendation is to serve the cheesecake in tiny slices because it’s quite rich.
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Marshmallow-Sour Cream Topping and Gingersnap Crust
Adapted from Bon Appétit
Prep time + Bake time: 30 minutes + 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves 12 – 15
Nonstick baking spray
2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (about 9 oz)
1 cup pecans
1/4 c packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp crystallized ginger, chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
4 8-oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
5 large eggs
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups mini marshmallows
1/4 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
1. Prepare the crust: Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9-inch diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch high sides with nonstick spray. Grind cookie crumbs, pecans, brown sugar, and ginger in a food processor until nuts are finely ground. Add butter, and pulse to blend. Transfer mixture to prepared pan, and press onto the bottom and 2 inches up sides of pan. Bake crust until set and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cool completely.
2. Prepare the filling: Preheat oven to 350F. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in pumpkin. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition. Add flour, spices and salt, and beat until just combined. Beat in vanilla. Transfer filling to cooled crust. Bake until filling is just set in center and edges begin to crack (filling will move slightly when pan is gently shaken), about 1 hour 20 minutes. Cool 1 hour. Run knife around sides of pan to release crust. Chill cheesecake uncovered in pan overnight, or at least 4 hours.
3. Prepare the topping: Stir marshmallows and milk in medium saucepan over low heat until marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt. Cool marshmallow mixture to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Add sour cream to marshmallow mixture, fold gently just to blend. Pour topping over cheesecake and spread evenly, leaving 1/2-inch uncovered around the edges. Chill to set topping, at least 1 hour.
4. Keeps one week, stored in the refrigerator.
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