Yesterday was a fun day for my daughter and I. Her preschool had their first field trip and it was to the pumpkin patch and farm. She was so excited to see the animals but what she wanted the most, was a pumpkin. She had it set in her mind that she was going to make a pumpkin pie.
While at the farm, we saw a piggy race, she milked a cow, went on a hay ride, was chased by a chicken and picked out her pumpkin. She talked about the pumpkin and "her pie" all the way home.
|Here it is, in all of it's glory..LOL It was a cute pumpkin though.|
I think she thought I had a magic wand and this pie would just appear. She was so sad to find out that I had to actually make a crust, cook the pumpkin and then it had to sit in the fridge for a few hours. I sometimes wish I had that wand too.
I had to really stretch my brain and think if the ingredients in the cookie would work as a pie crust. I was not convinced, but, they would work beautifully in a cheesecake. I started pulling everything out that I thought would make a good crust and whipped it up…it turned out great! YAY for me.
|To top it all off, I had an audience of My Little Ponies watching my every move in the kitchen.|
Recipe: Gingersnap Crust
2 cups of Gingersnap Cookies ( I used a gluten free version that I found at Whole Foods)
1/2 cup of flour ( For gluten free, use 1/4 cup tapioca starch and a 1/4 cup white rice flour)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. sugar (optional)
2 T. Crisco
4 T. Butter, cold and sliced
1/4 cup ice cold water
Crush your cookies in a small bag using a rolling pin. You want your gingersnaps to be very fine crumbs.
In a bowl, combine flour, salt, gingersnaps and sugar.
Add the crisco and butter. Using your favorite method, cut crisco/butter into flour mix. I like to use a pastry knife. You can also use two knives or a food processor.
You should have a crumbly mixture. Add your water and mix. Do not over mix.
Place the ball of dough on to a piece of plastic wrap and place in the fridge. It is not necessary to fridge for very long, but it does help the dough to not be overly sticky when pushing it into your spring foam pan.
When ready to use remove crust from wrapper and push into the bottom of a 10 inch spring foam pan. I went up the sides of the walls about 1.5 inches.
Bake this crust for 8 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and add filling below.
Recipe: Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree or fresh pumpkin
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (not imitation vanilla)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
I used fresh pumpkin for my filling. This is a very easy thing to make. Cut and clean your pumpkin. In a large pot, place a steaming basket. Add 2 inches of water . Place your cut pumpkin into the basket and set your heat to medium high. The pumpkin should be ready in 15-20 minutes. Scrape the pumpkin away from the outer shell. My small pumpkin provided 3 cups of pumpkin puree. You can freeze the extra or use it in other recipes.
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar and beat on high for a few minutes until creamy. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth.
Add this filling to the prepared crust above. Return to the oven and bake for 1 hours 5 minutes. The center should not jiggle when shaken and the edges should start to crack slightly.
Remove cake and let cool on the counter for 20 minutes. Place cake in the fridge for at least 6 hours. Serve with warm caramel sauce and brown sugar whipped cream.
Recipe: Caramel Sauce
adapted from Alice Tea Cup
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
Place the butter, brown sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk gently until the mixture is smooth. Just as the mixture comes to a light boil, add the heavy cream and reduce the heat to low. Whisk well for 2 minutes, or until the glaze is thickened and smooth; then remove the pan from the heat.
Recipe: Brown Sugar Whipped Cream
2 cups of heavy whipping cream
1 tsp of vanilla
2 T. brown sugar
In a medium size bowl add the above ingredients. With egg beaters, whip until thick. I love the color the brown sugar gives the whipping cream, especially for this time of year.