Our search for the perfect pumpkin pie has taken an interesting turn this week as we compare three different pumpkin cheesecakes! I figure it is fair to include these in a pumpkin pie search for two reasons: 1) pumpkin pies can often have a crumb crust and 2) cream cheese replaces the dairy component in the pumpkin custard part of a pumpkin pie – otherwise the recipes are very similar.
Our first cheesecake is from Moosewood Restaurant Table which Food52 Cookbook Club covered in June this year. It has a walnut oat base and the cheesecake filling is spiced simply with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. This was very easy to make and unfortunately it was the first we unmolded so lost a bit of its top when we flipped it back onto the serving plate. It tasted a lot like pumpkin pie, but just okay for a cheesecake.
Our next cheesecake is from Nigella Lawson’s Feast which is a book Food52 Cookbook Club has scheduled for this coming December! This was so simple to make, and looks like a pretty standard cheesecake. The crust is digestive biscuits, butter and cinnamon and the filling is lots of cream cheese and pumpkin, with no spices at all. This was a really nice cheesecake, but didn’t really hit the pumpkin pie spot.
The last cheesecake is from Golden which Food52 Baking Club covered in June this year. It is their Butternut Pumpkin and Spice Cheesecake. It features a toasted hazelnut and biscuit crumb and the filling is spiced with cinnamon, ginger and cardamon, has been lightened up a bit with sour cream and instead of canned pumpkin it uses roasted butternut pumpkin that is pureed. There is also a vanilla bean sour cream topping which is added in the last ten minutes of baking. This was spectacular!
After trying Golden’s cheesecake the others don’t even seem worth wasting calories on. It was leaps and bounds ahead of them! And if I’m to be honest, it is the nicest thing we have made in the competition so far. I’m predicting a finals contender here!
Next week we’ll be featuring 3 pies that have a crunch/crumble component. Until then, we’ll continue to stuff ourselves silly with these cheesecakes. Mmm mmm…