“PROMISE YOURSELF TO WAKE UP EVERY MORNING WITH A THANKFUL HEART, AS THOUGH EACH DAY WAS THANKSGIVING DAY.” kiggundu wilson.
My apologies to my baking buddies, from the yet un-named, but little baking group that could, for being late in publishing this post. This month, we decided to make life a bit easy for ourselves around this hectic time, and simply post a favorite side dish or baked good that typically graces our Thanksgiving tables. I have to give GREAT credit to all those who blog dinner recipes! I had two ideas to share. One was of a sweet potato casserole. But I have to tell you….trying to get that onto my Thanksgiving dinner table while everyone is sitting around starving, and then saying….“wait….I have to snap a picture first!”…..was a bit tricky. So to avoid a massive food fight, I opted for dessert instead. (We baking bloggers definitely have it easier!). I decided that when everyone fell into their food comas, I would photograph this pie. Suspiciously, though, there was already a slice cut from it!!! But I couldn’t be upset. I’m a big advocate of ‘eat dessert first’! And it was THAT good. I couldn’t decide between making a pumpkin cheesecake or a pumpkin pie. So I combined both into this luscious pumpkin cheesecake pie! A perfect ending to a lovely day. . . . .
You know, we all have days or periods of time, when life can get you down. But if you can allow yourself to just step back and gain some perspective, you will always find that you have much more to be thankful for than you think. For me, it always helps to put my focus on doing for others. That’s the greatest way to realize how much you have…..TO GIVE!
With that said, I am giving you pumpkin cheesecake pie! Sweet, creamy, and still very light. I used a cream cheese pie crust which was perfect for this pumpkin dessert!
The crust is usually my favorite part of the pie. Crazy, no? But I love the bottom of the pie crust after it’s been saturated with whatever pie filling you make. I should figure out how to develop that into some sort of cookie! This cream cheese pie crust is my go to crust for many fruit pies and tarts. It’s extremely easy to work with and is just about foolproof!
Yields: 8 slices
Level of Difficulty: Easy
CREAM CHEESE CRUST:
- 1 cup of all purpose flour
- 1 cup of cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 13 Tablespoons of butter, chilled and cubed
- 5 ounces of cream cheese, chilled
- 5 Tablespoons of heavy cream
- 1-2 Tablespoons of ice water
- 1 egg beaten with a splash of water
Place both flours and salt in the bowl of your food processor and pulse for about 10-15 seconds to combine. Add the cream cheese, butter and cream. Process until the mix forms a ball and begins to pull from the sides of the bowl. If the mix seems too crumbly, add 1 Tablespoon of the ice water until it forms a mass. Flatten into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface and fit into your pie plate. I always like to refrigerate the pie plate for about 30 minutes as well. And I often like to cut out a few small shapes, in this case they were leaves, to use to decorate the top of the pie or the rim of the crust.
CREAM CHEESE FILLING:
- 8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 of a cup of sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 Tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
Place the cream cheese and the sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Blend until creamy. Add the beaten egg and the vanilla extract and continue to blend until light and creamy. Some small lumps of cream cheese may remain and that is ok!
- 3/4 of a cup of sugar
- 1/2 of a teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 of a teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1/2 of a teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 1/4 of a teaspoon of allspice
- 1/4 of a teaspoon of ground cloves
- 15 ounces of pure pumpkin puree
- 1 cup of evaporated milk
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl until combined. Add the pumpkin puree, evaporated milk and the beaten eggs and whisk until combined.
There are a couple of ways you may assemble this pie. I poured the pumpkin mix into the bottom of the prepared pie dough. I spooned dollops of cream cheese around the top of the pumpkin mix and swirled them with the tip of a knife. But the top of the pie looked too white for me and I ended up just stirring the mix together in the crust. You can swirl as much or as little as you’d like to achieve the look you want. You may also layer the pie. Put the cheesecake layer on the bottom, and gently spoon the pumpkin mix on top. Or start with the pumpkin mix as the bottom layer and add the cream cheese layer on top. You can also totally mix the cream cheese mix into the pumpkin mix before pouring into your shell.
Bake in a preheated 425°F oven for 15 minutes. Then reduce the temperature of your oven to 350°F and continue to bake for another 40-45 minutes. The middle should jiggle very slightly. Cool completely before cutting.
NOTE: I like to brush my crust with eggwash before baking to give it a golden, shiny look. You may have to put foil or a pie crust cover over the crust if it looks like it is browning too quickly. I also added the little leaf dough cut outs I made with the dough scraps. I brushed a little egg wash on the bottom to help them stick, and then placed them randomly around the edge of the crust. I brushed the cut outs with egg wash and gave a sprinkling of sugar before baking.
I hope you enjoy this wonderful compromise between pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake! And please visit my fellow bakers to see what they cooked up on Thanksgiving! I think it’s really cool that enthusiastic bakers from D.C. to Colorado to the Cayman Islands to Australia all come together to bake each month. If you would like to join in, we’d love to have you!
Enjoy and find gratitude, even for the smallest, simplest things every day!
Recipes inspired by the Libby’s pumpkin can, King Arthur’s Flour and Baking.