Let Them Eat Pumpkin Cheesecake

About a month ago, I stumbled upon Dawn's SoCal Foodie blog. Dawn's food blog is entertaining and fun to read, and always filled with great recipes and beautiful photography. AND she has a purple Kitchenaid mixer!

As I was reading along, I stumbled across a recipe for pumpkin cheesecake. Now, I must mention that I love pumpkin in anything. In the past few months, I've made pumpkin cookies, pumpkin scones, pumpkin bread, pumpkin-banana bread...and the list goes on. And, given that cheesecake is one of my favorites as well, this recipe was perfect for me and my pumpkin-loving tastebuds. There was only one problem. I had never made cheesecake before. I had, however, read about the potential challenges and pitfalls of making cheesecakes. Soggy crusts, crater-like cracks in the top, and mushy fillings. Yet, since I've turned into a brave kitchen soldier lately, I decided to give it a try.

Before attempting anything, though, I had a few questions for Dawn, and she was kind enough to answer all of them. She truly held my hand along my first foray into cheesecake-making. Primarily, my questions centered around this step from the recipe:

"Line a baking sheet with a triple layer of paper towels. Spread the pumpkin on the towels and cover with a second triple layer of towels. Press firmly until the towels are saturated. Peel back the first layer of towels and discard. Grasp the bottom towels and fold the pumpkin in half; peel back the towels. Repeat and flip the pumpkin onto the baking sheet; discard the towels."

What? I have to BLOT the pumpkin? But pumpkin puree isn't all that wet! Sure, it's moist, but I certainly can skip this step, which seemed like it would create quite the mess, and be just fine, right? Luckily, I emailed Dawn and she told me that yes, I do need to blot the pumpkin. No, pumpkin puree really isn't all that dry, and no, my cheesecake would not be fine if I didn't blot my pumpkin. So, following her expert advice, I dumped out the puree onto paper towels as instructed and discovered, much to my surprise, that pumpkin puree is wet. Really, really wet. I blotted it with masses of paper towels, and as a bonus, this entire process didn't create a mess. When it came time to slide the pumpkin into my mixing bowl, it came off without a problem.

And the end result was incredible. I don't think I've ever been prouder of myself for anything I've baked than I was of this cheesecake. It was flawless! No cracks on the top! No crumbly crust! No mushy center! The taste was delicious, and filled with those wonderful falltime spices of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and vanilla. But it was also a light cheesecake, and not dense and rich as were other cheesecakes I've tasted.

Here it is in all its crowning glory...

Even my cat Chubbie had a piece, which she thoroughly enjoyed.

So, my friends, if you haven't figured it out by now, I highly, highly recommend you try this recipe. If I can do it, and have it turn out so well (if I do say so myself), then you can too. I feel I must warn you, however. As excited as you are about this recipe right now, and as much as you may want to go forth into the blogosphere and share the cheesecake love with which you're currently filled, I would advise against mentioning it in any way, shape, or form should you decide to visit Andy over at The Reluctant Baker. He tried it. And did not meet with success due to a springform pan defect. I tried to tell him it wasn't the cheesecake's fault! But he didn't want to listen. He begrudges the cheesecake. And he never wants to hear me talk of it again.

Quick IVF update: So far, so good. My morning injections of Lupron (ovulation suppression drug) are...well, painful as all hell, but I'm getting used to the needle sticks again. It's been awhile since I've had to inject myself. I've got some bruises on the tops of my thighs, which are only going to get bigger and more numerous beginning tomorrow, when I have to start the nightly Gonal-F (fertility drug) injections on top of my morning Lupron ones. I'm trying to take this whole process one step at a time. There are many potential pitfalls along the way, potentially beginning on Wednesday, when I go for my first ultrasound to see how many follicles the Gonal-F has produced on my ovaries. Cross your fingers for many.

7 Responses to “Let Them Eat Pumpkin Cheesecake”

  1. # Blogger Marie

    Mmmm! Looks wonderful Kristi! I made a pumpkin cheesecake a few years ago & it was absolutely decadent.

    I'm thinking of you with all the injections you're doing & will be sending you extra good thoughts & prayers on Wedn!  

  2. # Blogger Christine

    Kristi! I hope all goes well with the IVF.

    And the cheesecake looks delicious. And I think I know what I'm bringing the family for Thanksgiving.  

  3. # Blogger Christine

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.  

  4. # Blogger Dawn

    Hi Kristi, thanks for the mention! You did a fabulous job on this recipe! I am so glad we talked about that pumpkin blotting step..the end product would have been a disappointment to you if that step had been skipped. And boy, that is the worst, to spend time making a recipe, really look forward to it and then have it not turn out!

    I have been assigned the job of making this for Thanksgiving. So, I'm hoping that my next one will be just as beautiful as yours!

    Good luck with your injections. They sound so painful! That's dedication, is all I can say.  

  5. # Blogger Pamplemousse

    Fingers crossed, Kristi! Mmmmm...cheesecake...drool.  

  6. # Anonymous thalia

    Have you tried stomach rather than leg? And pressing down hard afterwards with the alcohol wipe? I managed to only get two bruises all cycle so it worked for me. I did lupron In the leg once and felt like it just sat under the skin all morning.

    I"m anti pumpkin so won't comment on the cheesecake.  

  7. # Blogger Kristi

    Marie-Pumpkin cheesecake just might be my new favorite dessert. Love it! And thanks for all the good thoughts. I need 'em all.

    Christine-If you end up making the cheesecake, let me know how it turns out. Hope your family likes it. And thanks for the good wishes too.

    SoCal-I consider the cheesecake a joint success. If you hadn't helped and encouraged me, it wouldn't have turned out as it did!

    Pamplemousse-Thank you!

    Thalia-the thought of doing the injections in my stomach totally freaks me out. I'm not sure why. I don't feel like the medicine just sits there under my skin, but I am getting bruising. Ugh.  

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