Recipe :: Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake
Happy Turkey Day’s Eve, Everyone!
For the first time since I moved to Chicago six Thanksgivings ago, I am not hosting the festivities for this day of days at my own home. This is because my own home is mostly in boxes right now; Miles and I move to Virginia on Monday or Tuesday. But even though I’m not going to be playing hostess tomorrow, Thanksgiving is still one of the days of the year I get most excited about. The tradition up to this point has been that my college friends who live in Chicago get together with our assorted significant others and watch football, feast, drink way too much, take a group nap, wake up, snack on leftover feast, play cut-throat rounds of normally innocuous board games, and then someone inevitably breaks something. We take time to get really mushy and tell each other how much we’ve always loved each other. It’s rowdy and awesome and I don’t even want to think about the possibility that this might be my last Chicago Thanksgiving. No way.
Because we’ve been packing to move across the country and, you know, just got married and everything 10 days ago, Miles and I are taking the path of least resistance when it comes to our contributions to tomorrow’s feast. That’s the best thing about this recipe–you can put the filling together in 15 minutes, and it’s better if it refrigerates all night, so you can get it done the day before. I’ll be bringing two of these beauties to the table tomorrow, as well as my just-as-easy Mexican Tortilla Lasagna to be the vegetarian entree option.
Below, please find the first recipe I ever invented, way back in college. The maple aspect is new this year, inspired by a recipe in Real Simple. This cake is denser and less cream-cheesy than a traditional cheesecake. If you prefer a more traditional texture, you can use 16oz of cream cheese instead of 8oz, and leave out the cup of heavy cream.
May your days be merry and bright, my friends!
Pumpkin Maple Cheesecake
This recipe makes enough filling for two 9” pies. If you’d only like one pie, cut all ingredients in half.
- 2 ready-made graham cracker crusts
- 15oz canned pumpkin
- 8oz cream cheese
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1 cup sour cream
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp nutmeg
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ – 1 tsp ground cloves, depending on how much you like cloves (I like them a lot.)
- Preheat oven to 300˚.
- Mix pumpkin, cream cheese, sugar, flour, vanilla, heavy cream, and maple syrup together with an electric mixer on low speed. (Hint: put the maple syrup in the measuring cup after you pour out the heavy cream, and the syrup won’t stick to the cup.) Mix until well blended.
- Blend in sour cream. Add nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves.
- Add eggs, mixing on low speed until just blended. There will still be visible flecks of the spices. Yum!
- Pour into crusts and bake at 300˚ for 45 minutes, or until centers are almost set. Don’t overfill the crust, as the pie will rise some during baking, then deflate while cooling. (I always put the pie crust on a cookie sheet to bake; it’s so much easier to get in and out of the oven.) You can put a little decorative swirl of maple syrup on top just after baking, if you so desire.
- Top with pumpkin pie spice, almonds, pecans, or whipped cream (after refrigeration). I’ve topped the one pictured above with leftover marzipan veggies from our wedding cake.
- When the pies are cool to the touch, move to the fridge. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight before serving.