Pumpkin Ginger Cheesecake Pie with easy Gingersnap Cookie Crust

Hope everyone in this part of the world enjoyed a good thanksgiving meal! I have an awesomely sweet friend and fellow new mom to thank for hosting it this year, inspite of being a busy working mom of an active little toddler. I always enjoy meeting them and my little monkey has a good time checking out baby T's toys and trying to lick him!

I thought I'd take a side dish along, and after many hours of deliberation and back and forth-ing between this, and this, I finally decided it would be pie. Pumpkin pie. But after having made Libby's  pumpkin pie and a lovely Cardamom Caramel pumpkin pie already, I wanted to make something different. So then it was back to my favourite food blogs and sites and thumbing through cook books, until I began to see ginger molasses pies, pecan pumpkin pies, buttermilk pies... everywhere. And then  it happened. I saw this stunner on Gourmet magazine and fell in love. Look at her! Swirly pumpkin and cream cheese goodness, spiked with crystallized ginger. Just tasting the batter itself I knew this one is a true winner.



Pumpkin ginger cheesecake pie with easy gingersnap cookie crust

Recipe Source: Lillian Chou for Gourmet Magazine from here

Serves 8. Active time about 20 mins, From start to finish including resting and cooling : 8 hours so best if made the day before your big fat thanksgiving bash.


Ingredients:

For the gingersnap crumb crust from here
  • tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus a little more ( about a tsp) for greasing
  • 1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs (10 graham crackers or 24 small gingersnaps; about 6 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Special Equipment

    :

     
    a 9- to 9 1/2-inch pie plate (4-cup capacity)
Method:
  • To make cookie crumbs, break up crackers or cookies into small pieces ( I thulped crushed mine, still in the package, with a rolling pin) , then pulse in a food processor until finely ground.
  • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly butter pie plate
  • Stir together all ingredients in a bowl and press evenly on bottom and the side of pie plate. Bake until crisp, 12 to 15 minutes, then cool on a rack to room temperature, about 45 minutes
For the Pumpkin Ginger Cheesecake filling:
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup chopped crystallized ginger ( the original recipe stated 1/4 cup which would make it very strong)
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg ( The original recipe says 1/2 tsp freshly grated nuteg-but I think that's too much) 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin (If using fresh pumpkin, cut it in half and bake at 300 F for about 30 mins and scoop out the flesh after discarding seeds. If using a 15-oz can-you'll use almost all of it)
Method:
  • Make the gingersnap pie crust and let it cool.
  • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Pulse sugar and ginger in a food processor until ginger is finely chopped, then add cream cheese and pulse until smooth. Add eggs, milk, flour, nutmeg, and salt and pulse until just combined. ( i don't have a food processor, but my immersion/stick blender worked just fine) 
  • Keep 2/3 cup cream cheese mixture separately - we'll use this later. Whisk together remaining 1 1/3 cups cream cheese mixture and pumpkin in a large bowl until combined.
  • Pour pumpkin mixture into gingersnap crumb crust. Now slowly stir the cream cheese mixture kept separately  and drizzle decoratively over top of pumpkin mixture, and swirl little circles with back of a spoon for that marble like effect. Gorgeous!
  • Put pie on a baking sheet and bake until center is just set, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, then chill, loosely covered with foil, at least 4 hours. Very gently blot any moisture from surface ( If required) with paper towels before serving.
  •  This cheesecake can be chilled up to 3 days (although the crust will soften slightly)

Verdict: The cheesecake pie looked really good and everyone commented on the swirlyness, but unfortunately  T and I thought the spices were way too overpowering (The others were too nice to say!) Maybe because I made it the night before and it sat in the fridge overnight and matured, but the next time I make this, I will reduce the ginger and nutmeg by half (as already noted in the recipe above) 

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