pumpkin cheesecake

Confession: I am a cheesecake snob. I womp-womp over cakes that are solid bricks of cream cheese, or over cheese-flavored jell-o towers. If it tastes more like a crumb cake or if I’m chewing on crystallized sugar, go ahead, you can finish it for me. And don’t even get me started on water baths — they’re 100% non-negotiable.

So, allow me to present the perfect cheesecake. It’s solid but fluffy as hell, with no added gelatin or weird binders. It’s sweet and tangy and completely melts in your mouth.

Also, pumpkin. Yeah. Basic as shit.

– L

Not that anyone actually follows this blog, but if you were wondering why I haven’t posted anything in 2.5 years, it’s because I’ve been a little busy baby-catching, cut-you-open-and-put-you-back-together-ing, ruining all my good shoes with blood etc, and generally running around like a crazy person. Pretty standard obgyn residency stuff. Yay!

 

recipe: pumpkin cheesecake

Ingredients
2 cups finely crushed gingersnap cookies
4 tbsp salted butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ginger
3 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
4 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream (can reduce to 1/3 cup if your canned pumpkin is super runny)
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree

 

Directions
1. Make the crust: Heat oven to 325°. Wrap the outside of a 9″ springform pan with foil and set aside. Combine gingersnap crumbs and butter in a food processor, and process until evenly combined. Transfer to pan and press evenly into bottom and halfway up side; bake until set, about 10 minutes. Let cool and set aside.

2. Make the filling: Set a kettle of water to boil. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and cream cheese until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, until evenly incorporated. Scrape the bowl as needed. Add cream, syrup, vanilla, and pumpkin, and mix until smooth.

3. Pour filling over crust and place springform pan into a large roasting pan; pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up side of spring-form pan. Bake until filling jiggles slightly in the center when the pan is tapped on the side, about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

4. VERY IMPORTANT! To cool, turn off the oven and prop open the oven door. Don’t remove the cake from the oven until it’s cool enough to do so with your bare hands. A slow, gentle cool will help prevent cracks! Let cool to room temperature, and then chill in refrigerator until set, at least 4 hours or overnight.

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pumpkin spice latte ice cream

psl ice cream

Life is wackypants right now. I just applied to residency programs, I’m trying to scramble-write my research manuscript, my sub-internship (in which I wear a long white coat and try not to kill people) is about to start, and HOLY CRAP GUYS IT’S PUMPKIN SEASON.

Look at me. Look at this blog. This is a big deal.

I think it’s necessary to explain that I take pumpkin season very seriously. Like, try-to-transform-myself-into-a-winter-squash kind of serious. Last year, I cooked a brand-new pumpkin dish every single week for the entirety of pumpkin season, which, for all intents and purposes, extends from the beginning of September to the end of the year. This year, I’m continuing the tradition, with the added bonus of discovering a beer store down the road that has about 25 different (and changing) pumpkin beers in stock. I also recently figured out that home-roasted pumpkin is both cheaper and more delicious than canned pumpkin and having a couple of the little darlings around all the time doubles as home decor!

My point is this: posers spending $25 a week on Starbucks’ PSL ain’t got nothin’ on my pumpkin addiction. Which, at this moment, is manifesting itself in the form of PSL ice cream.

psl ice cream 2

Leave me a comment with suggestions for future pumpkin adventures! Fuel my crazyfire.

– L

Recipe: pumpkin spice latte ice cream

adapted from the NYTimes’ master ice cream recipe

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup coffee, coarsely ground*
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • pinch of nutmeg and cloves
  • 6 egg yolks*
  • 1 cup roasted pumpkin puree*

Directions

  1. In a medium-sized pot, combine everything except egg yolks and pumpkin. Simmer over medium-low heat until the mixture is warm/hot (think nice relaxing bath temperature. if you were to bathe in spiced coffee cream. I won’t judge.).
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks together, then carefully whisk in about a cup of the hot cream. Do this in a slow, steady stream, whisking all the while, because no one likes scrambled eggs in their ice cream.
  3. Add the egg mixture back into the pot and cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes. The mixture should thicken to be able to coat the back of a spoon.
  4. Remove from heat and let the custard steep for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  5. Strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve, then mix in the pumpkin. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
  6. Churn it in your ice cream maker! I kept mine going for about 30 minutes, but I think my KitchenAid attachment is defective so just follow the directions for yours. Transfer the ice cream to a container and store in the freezer for a couple hours before serving.

Notes:

  1. Try to grind your coffee as coarsely as you can stand. I didn’t do a very good job of it and there were fine grounds in my ice cream. I didn’t care, but you might.
  2. My egg yolks were tiny, for whatever reason. If you’re using big eggs, maybe stick to 5.
  3. ROAST YOUR PUMPKIN. Oh man. It is so much better. Take a 2-3 lb sugar pumpkin, pop the stem off, slice it down the middle and scoop the guts out. Brush it down with some coconut oil and place cut-side down on a baking sheet. Roast at 350°F for about 45 minutes, or until easily pierced by a fork. Scoop the flesh out and puree in a blender/food processor. This makes about the equivalent of a 15 oz can. Put the extra in your morning coffee!!