pumpkin swirl cheesecake

I haven't made cheesecake in ages and with Thanksgiving Day just around the corner, I knew I wanted to incorporate pumpkin into the cheesecake.

I still had some pumpkin in the fridge leftover from the pumpkin pie, so I oven roasted a chunk to make the puree.

I looked online and found images of a pumpkin swirl cheesecake that looked nice so that's what I decided to make. 

I borrowed the idea from Martha Stewart; adapted the base and pumpkin filling from Rose Levy Beranbaum and used my own cheesecake filling. I kept my fingers crossed that the 3 different elements would work together.

Aren't the cookies cute? I was a bit distracted while putting the filling together so the 2 tsp of rum in the filling absentmindedly became 3 tsp of rum. It definitely added a kick to the cheesecake.

Even after 70 minutes of baking and chilling in the fridge for a day this is a gently set cheesecake. The quantity of filling would probably fit better into an 8 inch springform tin but you'd need to increase the base recipe by another 50% to cover the base of the tin. Otherwise double everything to make a splendid 9 inch/23 cm cake.

You don't need to decorate the cheesecake but I thought it would be nice topped with some softly whipped cream and a handful of coarsely chopped maple glazed pecans.

If you'd like to make the recipe, I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams and my oven is a conventional gas oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C.

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake 17cm springform pan
60g Spekulatius cookies or gingersnaps, crumbled
30g toasted pecan halves
½ tbs sugar
Pinch salt
30g unsalted butter, melted

½ cup pumpkin puree
2 tbs brown sugar
500g cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup caster sugar + 1 tbs
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tbs cream, sour cream or Greek yoghurt
1 tbs plain flour
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp rum

Maple Glazed Pecans
¼ cup of whole pecans
1-2 tbs maple syrup

Whipped cream and maple glazed pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line the base of a 17cm springform pan with baking paper. In a food processor, combine the crumbled biscuits, pecans, sugar and salt and process until fine crumbs form, about 20 seconds. Add the melted butter and pulse just until incorporated, about 10 times. Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom of pan. Bake until set, about 10 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool completely.

In a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stir together the pumpkin and brown sugar and bring the mixture to a simmer and cook stirring constantly, until thick and shiny, 3 to 5 minutes. Set to one side to cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 170°C. Wrap exterior of 17cm springform pan containing crust with a double layer of foil then boil the kettle. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cream cheese, caster sugar, salt, vanilla, cream and flour; beat until well combined. Add eggs, processing until just combined.

Remove 200 mls of the mixture and transfer to a bowl; add the cooled pumpkin puree and the rum, and mix until well combined. Pour half of the remaining cream cheese filling over the crust. Using about half the pumpkin mixture, dollop over the top of the cream cheese filling. Gently pour the remaining cheesecake mixture over the top. Dollop the rest of the pumpkin mix over the top of the cheesecake then using a skewer or toothpick, swirl into filling.

Set springform pan inside a large, shallow roasting pan. Carefully pour boiling water into roasting pan to reach halfway up side of springform pan. Bake until cake is set but still slightly wobbly in centre, about 75 minutes. Turn the oven off before removing the springform pan from the water bath, then transferring to a wire rack; carefully remove the foil from the tin then return the cheesecake to the switched off oven for an hour. Remove the cheesecake from the oven then let cool completely. Refrigerate uncovered for at least 24 hours. 

To unmould the cheesecake, wipe the sides of the pan with a dish towel that you’ve run under hot water and wrung out. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen the cheesecake before unmoulding and then carefully remove the side of the pan. Next time I’d line the whole tin with baking paper to make the unmoulding process a whole lot easier.

Just before serving, decorate with whipped cream and coarsely chopped maple glazed pecans.

Maple Glazed Pecans
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Toss the pecans in maple syrup then spread out over a baking paper lined tray. Bake the pecans in the oven for about 10 minutes, turning the pecans over about half through the cooking process. Allow the pecans to cool completely (the maple syrup caramelises during the cooking process so is very hot) before removing from the tray. Store the candied pecans in an airtight container.

Did the 3 elements tie together? Did they ever. I have to say, the cheesecake was a bit fiddly to make but it was absolutely delicious.

I've been thinking about Christmas week. Normally I have a theme for my Christmas baking but I'm struggling to come up with one this year. If you have any thoughts, I'd love to hear them. Either email me directly or post a comment. Thanks for your help.

See you all again later in the week,

Bye for now,



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