It all started about 25 years ago. Yes, I am that old! A fall Homemakers magazine came to my house and in it was a recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake. Hmmm. Weird. I don’t think so. Pumpkin Pie is where it’s at. I mean, I love cheesecake, but seriously, pumpkin belongs in a pie!
Fast forward a couple of weeks. (Yes, still 25 years ago. Actually, now that I do the math, it was 26 years ago. I was pregnant with my daughter Clancy.) We were having a small weekend getaway up at Deerhurst Inn and Country Club before our little bundle of joy arrived. The leaves were changing to the beautiful bold Canadian colours of orange, gold and crimson. We went for a couple of long walks … or waddles… depending on who you talk to. It was lovely to enjoy the crisp air and sunshine. Then back to the inn to devour whatever the chef decided to entice us with that evening for dinner.
Quite honestly I don’t remember anything about that weekend except for the cumbersome walking and the cheesecake. Yes, that’s right, PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE! It consumed my brain and taste buds for days! Smooth, not too rich and the perfect mix between cheesecake and pie. I describe it as the glorious taste of Pumpkin pie wrapped up in the velvety goodness of cheesecake. All this sitting on top of a gingersnap crust. This is key. Don’t use regular Graham crackers. Ginger snaps all the way.
So, as soon as I got home, out came the Homemakers magazine and I decided to whip up a cheesecake for myself. Well, to share, I suppose. I was pregnant but I couldn’t eat a whole cheesecake by myself!
Now, here is where I decided to change the recipe up a bit. My mum had given me a cheesecake recipe years before and it was the best recipe EVER. Just a plain cheesecake recipe that you were supposed to top with cherries. Yuck! I always skipped that part. From then on any cheesecake recipe that I came across which sounded delicious, I would just use the flavour part of that recipe and keep the original cheesecake recipe the same. After a couple of attempts to get the right consistency (I use a bit of flour to help it set) and it was perfected. This Pumpkin Cheesecake has become a Family Tradition for Thanksgiving dinner. I don’t dare show up to our family gathering without it! It is by far our favourite cheesecake ever. I now use gluten free gingersnaps for the crust, but I originally used the regular ones.
Here is how to do it:
Combine and pat in a lightly greased 9-1/2″ spring form pan:
2 cups crushed gingersnaps
3 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 pkgs cream cheese
250 g sour cream
1 cup sugar
1 can pumpkin 14oz
1/4 cup flour (regular, gluten free or 1/8 cup coconut)
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Mix all ingredients well in food processor. Bake at 325F for 1-1/2 to 2 hours until filling is set.
Garnish with pecans
Top with whipped cream.