Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

Crust Ingredients 
1 9-inch graham cracker pie crust

Cheesecake Filling Ingredients  
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup (2 ounces) sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup (1 5/8 ounces) diced candied ginger (optional)

Pumpkin Filling Ingredients  
3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 15-ounce can pumpkin* OR 1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup (8 ounces) light cream or evaporated milk
3 large eggs, lightly beaten*Use just plain pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling. 

Cheesecake Filling Directions
1) Remove the cream cheese from its wrapper and place it in a mixing bowl.
2) Allow it to warm to room temperature (this will make it easier to beat), then add the sugar and beat till fairly smooth. It may appear grainy, or a few lumps may remain; that's OK.
3) Stir in the egg, vanilla and ginger, if you're using it, and spoon the filling into the pie crust.

Pumpkin Filling Directions
1) In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt and spices.
2) Add the pumpkin, cream or evaporated milk, and eggs, and whisk gently until smooth. (You don't want to beat a lot of air into this mixture; just be sure it's thoroughly combined.)
3) Gently spoon the pumpkin filling atop the cheesecake layer, filling within 1/4-inch of the top of the crust. Note: Do this carefully at first, so as not to disturb the cheesecake layer; once you've covered the cheesecake, you can be less careful. Depending on the exact depth of your pie pan, you may have leftover filling. Simply pour it into a custard cup or other small baker, and bake it along with the pie, removing it from the oven when it appears set, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Pie Directions
1) Place the pie in a preheated 425°F oven, and bake it for 15 minutes.
2) Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F, and continue to bake for 40 to 45 minutes, covering the edges of the pie with a crust shield or aluminum foil if they seem to be browning too quickly.
3) The pie is done when it looks set, but still wobbles a bit in the center when you jiggle it. (If you have an instant-read thermometer, the pie will register 165°F at its center when it's done.)
4) Remove the pie from the oven, allow it to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate it till serving time. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream flavored with a pinch of ginger and teaspoon of vanilla.

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