Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Silky Pumpkin Cheesecake

I'm BACK!!! For good!

I'm sad about the fact that as I sit down to type this entry, this whole blogging thing now seems so foreign to me. It took me a little longer this time to upload pictures because I had to spend a second trying to remember how to do so!

I'm sorry it's taken me this long to get the blog up and running again. This whole moving into a new house thing has been disastrous!! Here are all the reasons why I have been separated from my beloved blog:

(1) I packed up my entire apartment in March, prior to leaving for California for a three month work assignment, assuming that when I returned to Seattle in June, we'd be all moved into our house...
(2) wishful thinking. Not only was construction delayed, I came home to see that there was a giant gaping hole in my new kitchen's ceiling, among other things. Not only did we NOT get to move into the new house in May, now all my kitchen stuff was packed and we kept thinking, "oh it'll be another week." So I couldn't bring myself to unpack all the stuff I worked for DAYS to pack.
(3) Our fridge in our apartment broke (for the third time in two months). Along the same lines as the unpacking thing, we kept thinking that it wouldn't be much longer, so we didn't bother to fix it. We ended up eating out for four consecutive months. Three meals a day, seven days a week. I hadn't stepped foot into a kitchen at that point for six consecutive months. It was killing me. I was dying a slow painful death on the inside from not being able to bake or cook. Or use my glorious kitchenaid mixer.
(4) We finally moved in at the end of September. Hurray! Then it's taken me about a month and a half to unpack, set up my kitchen, acquire new furniture, start blogging, etc.

So needless to say, it's been quite the adventure. But now I'm back for good! I've got a GIANT kitchen now. It's glorious! Just the center island alone is 6ft by 7ft! With it's own built in sink, no less. And I've got TWO ovens. Yesss! I don't know how I ever lived with one before. It feels SO good to be back! To be in a kitchen again! To be cooking and baking again! To be back in my natural habitat.

Silky Pumpkin Cheesecake

So I was feeling super ambitious. My first kitchen adventure in almost EIGHT months had to be a good one. Last year, I was so excited about Patricia's pumpkin cheesecake, that I ran out and immediately acquired the cookbook. Ever since seeing it on her blog, it's been at the top of my to-do list. This was the perfect "welcome back to the kitchen" recipe.

Make sure you make this a day in advance because it needs to chill in the fridge overnight.

(1) The Gingersnap Crust

The crust is super easy to make. You'll need gingersnap cookies, pecans, sugar, and butter. You can find gingersnap cookies at your local grocery store. The recipe called for toasted pecans, but I bought the candied ones, which worked out awesome! Candied pecans are simply irresistible.

Break up the gingersnaps and grind in the food processor until it becomes a fine crumb. I found that it was easier if you did a small handful at a time. Add the pecans, sugar, and a pinch of salt to the food processor and pulse a few times until all of it becomes incorporated.

Then, add melted butter and pulse for a few seconds.

Pour the contents into a greased 9 inch spring form pan.

Press the crumbs into the pan and up the sides. Done! Set aside.

(3) The Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling

You'll need Turbinado sugar. I didn't know what this was prior to going to the grocery store. I just copied it down from the recipe and blindly went looking for it in the baking aisle. To my surprise, it was right next to the regular sugars. Basically, from what I can tell, the only difference is that it's more course and granular than regular sugar. Plus, it's um.. not white. lol. Very scientific, eh? =)

Anyway, heat up the sugar and pumpkin puree in a small saucepan.

It'll get super shiny!

Then comes the easy part. You basically dump everything into the food processor and let it work its magic. Barely any effort involved!

In goes the pumpkin mixture, cream, cream cheese, eggs, egg yolks...

...and it comes out super smooth!

Pour it into your awaiting crust.

Now comes the tricky part, which I completely forgot to take pictures of! Great! In my defense, it was my first time back in the kitchen, so I was off my game a bit.

Ok, so you'll need to cover the sides of the pan with aluminum foil, and then place it in a water bath. You'll need a slightly larger pan to place it in and fill it up with about 1 inch of water. I didn't have a larger roasting pan, so I used my super large dutch oven, which worked perfectly. Um, word of advice: CAREFULLY place the pan into the oven and CAREFULLY take it out. Because splashing water onto your cheesecake would be bad. Not that I would know from experience or anything. *cough, cough* Moving on...

Bake it, let it cool, put it in the fridge overnight, un-mold it.

The recipe made the unmolding process seem like it was a super big deal. And I totally tried the hot towel thing at first, then thought, "screw this. it's way too complicated." Then I took a knife and ran it along the inside of the cake pan. Perfect.

It came out just fine, didn't it? =)

Smother it with caramel sauce.

Don't forget the whipped cream!

And more caramel sauce.


OH. EM. GEE. This cheesecake was the most amazing cheesecake in the history of cheesecakes! Hubby, who usually hates cheesecakes, told me specifically that I wasn't allowed to give any of it away because he was going to eat it all!

It was smooth and silky...and surprisingly light on the palate, which is amazingly unusual when you're talking about cheesecake. I did end up giving some of it away and every one who tried it was equally as impressed by it!

This would be the perfect addition to the thanksgiving dessert table! I'm already planning on adding it to my line up this year. It should be a thanksgiving tradition in every household - right up there with pumpkin pie and stuffing. Seriously. It's just THAT good.

CLICK HERE for the recipe.


  1. Welcome back!! You've been missed :) Can't wait to see what you get up to in your new kitchen (which sounds absolutely gorgeous by the way)!

  2. Glad you're back. Just reading your recipes is a wonderful thing; cooking and eating them is even better!

  3. Oh, I'm so relieved your back -I've had your blog listed on my blog roll since I started blogging earlier this year, one of my faves! Moving is soooo stressful isn't it? All the best, Jane @ http://louandjane.blogspot.com/ :)

  4. Welcome baaaaaack!! I missed you, Judy! Sounds like quite the ordeal but wow that new kitchen sounds amazing. I just got this book and your photos and description tell me I need to remedy that pronto!

  5. Haha oops I meant to say I got the book and haven't used it yet so I need to remedy that.

  6. Just saw your NEW post on reader - Congrats on the house Judy! I'm so happy for you, wishI could visit your new kitchen in person, please post some photos :) Miss you guys! -Liz and Tom

  7. Judy's back and better than ever!! Yay! Pumpkin + cheesecake sounds amazing. Can't wait to try this!

  8. YAY! glad you're back!
    now let's see pictures of this new fabulous kitchen???

  9. I said I'd bring a cheesecake to my hosts' Thanksgiving - looks like this is it!

    Thanks for the recipe!

  10. so glad you back ! this looks yummy and i don't even like pumpkin you should take pics of the new kitchen i wanna see!

  11. That looks amazing! Welcome back, I've been missing your posts :)

  12. AWwww thanks everyone!!! it feels good to be back! i missed cooking and blogging SO much!

    i will post pictures of my kitchen soon!

  13. Welcome back! you've been missed!!!!

  14. Yummie, your pumpkin cheesecake sure looks very silky...absolutely perfect for the Thanksgiving dinner :-)

  15. Hey Judy,
    So glad you are back. Also cant wait to see pics of yr new kitchen. 2 ovens hon.w awesome is that...looks like you have got my dream kitchen...:). WELCOME BACK

  16. Great to see you back! I visited your site regularly, even though you were gone. I just love it. Everything I've tried turns out great!

  17. Awwww... and your first blog was inspired by a cheesecake you saw on my blog (sniff-sniff), I feel like a proud mom!!

    I can't wait to see your wonderful kitchen - my current kitchen doesn't have a center island, and I really miss having one. And two ovens, honey you are soooo going to put them to good use!!

    I'm so happy to see you back - I've missed your posts and emails so much.


  18. great recepi, i made it and they just loved it, i´m going to make it again.if you had to change the pecans, what not would you use?

  19. I'm SOOOOOO happy to see you blogging again Judy! You've been missed indeed! :) Your blog is the BEST baking blog I've come across and I was wondering did something bad happen which cause you to abandon this blog. Now I know it's just some hiccups and blessing in disguise for you have yourself a huge kitchen playground now :)

    Are you residing in Seattle? If you are, I might be heading to Seattle (I'm from Singapore btw) for a cousin's wedding in Sept 2011, any chance we can meet up for tea perhaps? :)

  20. sure! just email me when you're in town. =)


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