This is a Thanksgiving Day favorite. It was given to my mother by Mickey Kohn, a fabulous cook and old family friend. Because our family was so large and for the sake of variety, we usually made two different pumpkin pies every Thanksgiving, Mom’s Pumpkin Pie and this pumpkin cheesecake.
In this pumpkin dessert, we add ginger, cloves, salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract for flavoring. As we’ve seen in other recipes where pumpkin purée is the main ingredient, it takes a lot of spice to get pumpkin to taste like the pumpkin we know and love in our favorite desserts.
Yield: One 9-inch deep dish pie, or one 10-inch regular depth pie
1 9-inch pie crust, uncooked
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1¾ cups pumpkin purée (one 15 ounce can)
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Mise en Place:
1) Preheat oven to 375º
2) Arrange homemade or store-bought pie crust in a pie pan:
Unroll dough. Use a rolling pin to lightly roll the dough. This helps to even it out.
Remove the top layer of plastic liner from the dough. Gently flip dough over the pie pan. Center dough over the pan and then gently push it into the bottom crevices of the pie pan.
Remove second plastic liner. Tuck overhanging dough underneath itself.
Flute dough edges for a pretty and finished look: place the index finger of your writing hand against the inside edge of the dough. Use the thumb and index finger on your other hand to gently press the dough around that index finger. Continue all the way around the circle.
3) Prepare Pie Filling:
Cream together cream cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, salt for one minute at medium speed.
Slowly add beaten eggs. Mix well. Blend in pumpkin purée, milk, and vanilla. Mix at a slow speed for one minute.
Pour filling into the pie shell and bake for 45-50 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
After the pie had baked for 35 minutes, I noticed the pie crust was starting to get brown while the center was still not cooked, so I added a pie crust shield over the rim to slow down the browning process. If you don’t have a shield, cut three 4-inch strips of foil and crimp them over the crust’s edges. Leave them there until the pie is finished baking.
Note to self: use a thinner lipped pie crust shield the next time. Pumpkin pie rises like a soufflé as it cooks and this wide shield impeded that expansion. It turned out okay in the end because the marks left from the shield were covered up by the topping.
4) Prepare Topping:
Spoon one cup of sour cream into a container. Add sugar to sour cream and stir until smooth.
Scoop the topping onto the cooked pie and spread evenly almost to the crust.
Bake for 3-5 more minutes until topping is set.
Let cool on a wire rack. Serve chilled.
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