Cooking From Memory ~ A Recipe Journal

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Posted in Cheesecakes,Desserts by Paul Gauche on November 11, 2011

Every year as Thanksgiving approaches, I make a list of the things that simply must appear on the Thanksgiving table. That list, of course, includes all of the standards. But this year we’ll certainly be adding this pumpkin cheesecake to the festivities. Oh, my…

The first weekend in November brought me a couple of days to “play” in the kitchen; some time to try out some new things for Thanksgiving. I’d surveyed several recipes for pumpkin cheesecakes and decided the one from The Brown Eyed Baker looked most promising. I was especially curious about the crust made with ginger snaps since I’ve been known to cruise through most of a bag of those things with a glass of milk.

I prepared the cheesecake on Friday evening and then set in the refridgerator to ‘cure’. On Sunday afternoon around the table with severl friends, this pumpkin cheesecake made its appearance and did not dissapoint one little bit.

Silky. Smooth. Dense. Remarkable.

So give this a try. You may want to even try a test run on some friends and then preapre it again for Thanksgiving. It’s worth the effort–it’s that good! The only really tricky thing is making sure that you wrap the springform pan with foil effectively enough so that the water bath doesn’t seep into the crust. Take your time with that. And make sure you save enough gingersnaps to dunk in a glass of milk while you’re preaparing the crust. Whoa…

Ingredients for the Crust ~

  • 2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (about a 14-oz package of cookies, or less if you just want to dunk some into some milk while you’re preparing this treat)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Ingredients for the Cheesecake ~

  • 32 ounces cream chees, (4 packages) at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups (about a 15-oz can) canned pumpkin (do not use pumpkin pie mix)
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 ½ tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice

Method ~

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Double-wrap the bottom and outside of a 9-inch springform pan with heavy duty foil making sure the water bath to come will not seep into the pan. Take your time making sure you’ve done this well. Mix together the ingredients for the crust and press them into the bottom of the springform pan. A good way to do this is to take a drinking glass and using the bottom, lightly tap/pat the crust evenly into the pan. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

Bring a pan of water to a boil for a water bath. Beat together the cream cheese and the sugars on medium speed until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, about 3 minutes. Add the pumpkin and mix on low until completely mixed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well until fully incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Add the heavy cream and vanilla and beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, cloves and allspice and mix on low to mix well.

Pour the batter into the prepared crust. At this point you will firmly but carefully tap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. Place the pan into a larger pan (a roasting pan works really well for this) and pour the boiling water into the larger pan until it is about halfway up the springform pan.

Bake for 55 to 65 minutes or until the edges are set, but the middle still jiggles a little. Do not open the oven door at any point in this process.

Keeping the oven door closed, turn off the oven and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, remove the cheesecake from the oven, carefully remove it from the water bath, remove the foil and place the cheesecake on a wire rack to cool completely, about an additional 2 hours. Once the pumpkin cheesecake is completely cool, cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. It’s best to let it set overnight.

You may want to garnish with a light sprinkling of crushed ginger snaps. Serve and enjoy!


Sarah’s White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce

Posted in Cheesecakes,Desserts by Paul Gauche on July 15, 2009

White Chocolate Cheesecake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chilling time 8 hours.

Crust ~

  • 1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs
  • ½ cup almonds, ground
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 Tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Filling ~

  • 4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 16 ounces (2 8 ounce boxes) cream cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  Glaze ~

  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, chopped

Method for Crust:

In a food processor, vanilla wafers until finely crushed.  Add the remaining ingredients and pulse or mix with a fork until mixture resembles course crumbs.  Press into bottom of an 8 or 9-inch springform pan.  Bake at 350 F. for 10 minutes.  Cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.


Method for Filling:

Melt white chocolate in double boiler. Cool to lukewarm. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Ad eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in sugar, flour and vanilla. Gently but thoroughly blend in melted white chocolate. Pour filling over crust. Bake at 325º F. until cheesecake is firm around edges, but still moves slightly in center when gently shaken, about 40 minutes. Cool completely. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.


Method for Glaze:

In a small saucepan, bring cream to simmer over low heat. Add chocolate and stir until smooth. Spread glaze evenly over top of cheesecake. Refrigerate until set. Cake may be made ahead to this point up to 2 days in advance.

~~ From Simply Classic: The Junior League of Seattle, 1993, page 236

Raspberry Sauce

  • ½ package frozen raspberries, thawed
  • ¼ cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp. corn starch


Method for Raspberry Sauce:

Whisk together the water, sugar, and cornstarch in a saucepan, then add the raspberries. Stir the mixture on medium heat for several minutes until it thickens and gets to the consistency you prefer. Let the sauce cool just a bit.

To Serve: Spoon a pool of raspberry sauce onto individual plates. Slice cheesecake and place on top of sauce. Drizzle more sauce over top, if desired. Garnish plates with fresh berries.

Paul’s Birthday Cheesecake

Posted in Cheesecakes,Desserts by Paul Gauche on July 11, 2009



Ingredients for Graham Cracker Crust ~

  • 1 cup (6 whole crackers) graham cracker crumbs, finely crushed
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

Method for Graham Cracker Crust ~

Mix well.  Pat into bottom of a spring form pan.  Bake at 350° for 10 minutes.

   Cheesecake Original Recipe Mom's Handwriting

Ingredients for the Cheesecake ~

  • 2 large cakes of plain (room temperature) cream cheese
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups of pineapple, well drained

 Original Recipe Cheesecake Front

Method for the Cheesecake ~

Beat well with an electric mixer.  Pour over graham cracker crust. 

Bake at 375° for 25 minutes.  Cool.

Cheesecake Lemon Curd

Ingredients for the Topping ~

  • 1 Pint sour cream
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla

Method for the Topping ~

Mix well. Cover entire top of cake.

Bake at 375° for 5 minutes. Chill, baby… chill overnight.