Like many families, our Thanksgiving holiday is filled with ritual and custom. We tend to prepare the same dishes, often served in a bowl or on a plate that is a sentimental favorite – Grandma’s gravy boat, my Mom’s crystal bowl for the cranberries. Recipes go back three generations at our table, but I add a new one from time to time.
I found a version of this pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust in a food magazine about ten years ago. I make it only once every year as the traditional dessert to follow the turkey soup we enjoy on Sunday, marking the end of my favorite holiday.
- 1 container/box gingersnaps (I like Trader Joe’s triple gingersnaps)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon organic brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cover the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with foil.
3. Using a food processor, pulse cookies into crumbs. You will need about 4 cups of cookies to produce the 2 cups of crumbs needed.
4. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the crumbs, melted butter and sugar.
5. Press mixture into bottom of foil-wrapped pan. Don’t worry about trying to press the mixture up the sides of the pan.
6. Bake until crust darkens slightly, 5-10 minutes maximum. Remove from oven but do not turn off the oven.
- 3 eight-ounce blocks of cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup organic pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 12 small chunks of crystallized ginger
1. Using a mixer, blend the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
2. Add the eggs one at a time, then the pumpkin, vanilla and spices. Mix until smooth, using a hand spatula to finish, insuring that ingredients are well incorporated.
3. Place the pan with the crust on a sheet pan. Carefully pour filling on top of the crust.
4. Bake cheesecake 60-65 minutes until center is cooked and the edges are somewhat cracked.
5. Chill uncovered until cold, about 4 hours.
6. Cut around the sides of the cake and remove pan sides. Decorate top of cheesecake with crystallized ginger. Serve.