Source: Adapted from Martha Stewart
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Candied Walnuts
Yup, that’s right, pumpkin cheesecake. A delicious recipe that takes the time to pull all your fall favorites into one delicious bite.
Fall. For the average American it symbolizes two major events: Halloween and Thanksgiving. This is a fall cake that is perfect for either or both events. Cheesecake is one of those desserts that you save for special occasions. It’s not only a dense, rich cake, but it’s a bit on the tricky side to make. As you’ll see from the photos, I had a small problem with the cake splitting after the cool-down. I resolved the entire problem by topping this delicious cake with candied walnuts. A gentle cover up to a potential disaster.
So, the highlights of this dessert is for sure the pumpkin addition to cheesecake. Then, there’s the buttery, delicate crust. I always work with a nice buttery biscuit to crush and use as the crust. My first choice is always petit beurre. Translated, it means little butter. This is a traditional French butter cookie that melts in your mouth, and is soft and delicate. The store bought version is a bit heartier and thus makes a stronger crust for our cake. It’s hands down, better than any graham cracker that we use in the states. The delicate butter crust is the topper on this amazing dessert.
Plan your Fall holiday’s around your pumpkin cheesecake. It will keep your family and friends coming back year after year.
For the Crust:
- 1 1/4 cup petit beurre or graham crackers
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 TBS butter melted
For the Filling:
- 4 packages cream cheese very soft
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 TBS flour
- 1 small pumpkin soft, baked pulp only.
- 2 TBS pumpkin pie spice less if it’s not your favorite
- 1 to 2 tsp cinnamon personal addition, not original
- 1 TBS vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 large eggs
For Candied Walnuts as a Topper:
- 4 cups Walnuts
- 2 . egg whites lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Take your crackers and crush until they are a fine flour.
- Follow the crust recipe, add the sugar, and pour in the melted butter
- Line in your spring form pan (be sure the pan is slightly greased) and put in the heated (350) oven for 10 minutes or until golden around the edges
note: I used a small metal measuring cup to press the crust evenly down, all along the circular edges.
- Take out when golden. Set aside and begin to make your filling
- With an electric mixer beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. mix in flour. Add pumpkin puree, spice vanilla and salt. Mix until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing in between. Pour filling in spring form pan w/ the pre-baked crust. Smooth top, and cook for 45 minutes in a 300 Degree oven. Take out of oven after 2 hours standing. Cool completely. Line w/ plastic wrap and chill for up to 4 hours before serving.
Note: They strongly suggest to turn off oven after 45 minutes, keep cake in, and do not open for 2 hours. This is to prevent cracking on the top. However, the tip does not work. You can always try for yourself, but I’ve had no solid results with this. Hence, the candied walnut topping.
- for the walnuts: beat the egg whites and combine with the walnuts. Add the sugar, stir well. Bake on paper lined cookie sheet @ 350 F. Bake about 10-12 minutes. Take out, and let cool completely. Top before you serve the cake, after it’s chilled for a minimum of 4 hours.
- Let cool completely, and break apart.
Toss on top of the cheese cake just before serving, as to keep the walnuts nice and crunchy.
- As I mentioned, the tip to keep it in the oven for 2 hours, didn't work. I decided to top it with candied walnuts, and it served as a great impromptu idea. It does not always turn out the way you want, cover cracks with candied walnuts and