You already have the end of the meal planned out.  You can do this one blind folded.  It is pumpkin and it sits inside a little flour & butter bowl and you put fluffy white whipped on top.  But, if you want to try something a little different, completely show stopping, and totally delicious, consider this: a gingersnap crumb crust topped with a subtly spiced creamy tower of orange goodness.  Compared to other cheesecakes, it can even be considered healthy, as two blocks of cream cheese are replaced with a vegetable (pumpkin)!

If, like me, you have already stockpiled 6 of the golden oldie with this delicious crust for the big day, consider this treat for, say, a Thursday morning meeting with your esteemed colleagues.  Or some other special occasion.  Like with leftover turkey after shopping on Friday.  I won’t even tell if you top it with a bit of leftover fluffy white.

Pumpkin Ginger Cheesecake (I successfully broke the cardinal rule of baking and roughly doubled this recipe)

  • 9 oz Ginger Snap cookies
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger
  • 16 ounces (2 blocks) cream cheese, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 30 oz (2 15-ounce cans) canned solid-pack pumpkin
  • 2 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  1. Line the bottom of a 10″ springform pan with parchment paper.
  2. Pulse gingersnaps in the food processor until sandy fine.  Empty into a bowl and add brown sugar, salt, and melted butter.  Mix until you have slightly wet sand.  Press into the bottom of the springform pan and 1″ up the sides.  Place in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
  3. Pulse sugar and ginger in the bowl of the food processor (I won’t tell if you didn’t clean it) until no large chunks of ginger remain.  Add the softened cream cheese and run the processor until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides a few times.  Taste this, and tell me it wouldn’t be delicious on a sesame bagel.  Or some french toast.
  4. In separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together milk, eggs, flour, nutmeg and salt.  Pulse this into the ginger cream cheese until just mixed, scraping the sides.
  5. Pour 1 cup of this mixture back into the measuring cup, and put the rest into a large mixing bowl.  Add the pumpkin and pie spice into the large bowl, and mix until it is an even orange color.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350.  Remove the crust from the fridge and bake for 5-6 minutes, until just set.  Place a loaf pan with 2″ of water in it in the bottom rack of the oven (this is supposed to prevent cracking, but mine ended up looking like the san andreas)
  7. Pour the orange onto the warm crust, smoothing if necessary to make a flat surface.  As decoratively as possible, pour the white cream cheese mixture on top and swirl it in with a spoon.
  8. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until center is just set and not wobbly any more.  Cool completely on a rack to room temperature.  Cover with foil and refrigerate at least one day.
  9. When you are ready to serve, slide a small knife around the springform ring and release the lock.  Slice and serve.

Note: I also made a couple little muffin cup sized cheesecakes for my husband who I knew would not be able to stand the thought of a cheesecake just sitting there, chilling, for two whole days!  Follow the same as above, but only bake for 15-20 minutes.  This seriously helps with portion control, and I can imagine these little babies freezing particularly well for a cheesecake-anytime snack.