Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Pure Pumpkin Cheesecake

The Pure Pumpkin Cheesecake was lovely after the heartiness of our Thanksgiving feast. It was also a surprise departure from the usual pumpkin pie.

For this springform setup, I used a shallow 13" paella pan as the bain-marie, and it worked very well along with a double layer of cake strips on the springform pan. I could see how much water was in the bath behind a double-layer of crumpled heavy duty-foil, and it was easier to remove.

Here it is in the oven

The Ginger Snaps for the crust in this recipe are called 'Mi-Del' and they were delicious. They had the Snap and flavor of real ginger. I have never had ones like them before. Next time, I will increase the crust recipe a bit because it was very difficult to reach one and a half inches up the sides. I would also use a cup to help push the crust evenly. Also, next time I will incoporate a beurre noisette, which I do think lends a deeper, nutty flavor that would enhance the crust.

The pumpkin, cream-cheese batter was very simple to blend, and tasted marvelous. I used Libby's pumpkin as Rose suggests for those of us who do not intend to use the real thing. Without the spices of the usual pumpkin pie, and with the addition of the turbinado sugar, this cheesecake was subtle, velvety and elegant.

There were some small bubbles when I poured the batter into the pan. These could have been from my processing too long. I am not really certain, but was happy to see they disappeared in the baking.

caramel mis en place

The caramel: It was either that the cream was not hot enough or the sugar hadn't reached temperature, probably the latter. After the sugar was boiling a good while, I inserted the thermometer in the syrup with the saucier turned over to the side. The thermometer took forever to rise and the syrup was turning amber, so I took it off - too early. After being refrigerated, however, the caramel was just of a consistency that I could pipe it. Next time I would really want it darker, and more candy-like, to better offset the creamy texture of the cheesecake.

The cheesecake baked beautifully within its expected time frame. Heeding Rose's directions always pays off.

Everyone declared that once again Rose Levy Beranbaum has created a Heavenly Cake. The Pure Pumpkin Cheesecake was an uncommonly beautiful and luscious ending to our Thanksgiving celebration!

Philemon agreed!


  1. ב''ה

    Thank you for your nice comment. I love the picture of your copper pot over the 'purple' flame.

    Well done!

  2. Picture perfect job on your Pumpkin Cheesecake. Love Philemon!!

  3. Thank you so much for your kudos. Especially meaningful from you two artists!

  4. Hi Joan,

    I don't know how I managed to miss this post before, but wow... your cheesecake is absolutely perfect! I would never have known that you had any problems with the caramel if you hadn't said anything about it.

    Philemon is absolutely gorgeous!!!!

    Oh, please tell me more about your cake platter. I believe it coordinates perfectly with my everyday dishes (Mikasa, Antique White).


  5. PS - I believe you and I have the same copper sugar pot. Don't you just love it?!!!


  6. Hi Patricia:
    Thanks for your kind remarks! It was fun to come upon the same silver tray in Mendy's picture. It was my husband's grandmother's with the most gorgeous old English W in the center, and just the right size for our cakes. It goes with any china of course. The design is very simple and elegant. The plate the slice is on is one of a collection I have of mixed antique French faience. This one is a whimsical man piping an instrument and some trees, etc.
    The sugar pot, I dragged it back from France 25 years ago and it sat around. Now, of course, I am learning what a treasure I have!

    Philelmon says 'prrr' >' . '<

  7. Hi Joan, beautiful pumpkin cake. I agree with others that it is picture perfect. Nnice step by step picture too!

  8. Joan, beautiful cake and striking cat! Do you have a favorite cake from the book yet? (I apologize if you get that question a lot.)