Pumpkin Cheesecake

IMG_7225A recipe by Thomasina Miers in The Guardian. At the time, I did not have any pumpkin seeds, so was not able to prepare the candied seeds; however, I had some diced stem ginger which I thought would go well, so I used it in the batter!

Ingredients

600g pumpkin (or squash), peeled, deseeded and cut into 4cm chunks (net weight)
75g butter
250g ginger biscuits
1 egg whiteIMG_7232
600g cream cheese
150g creme fraiche
250g golden caster sugar
Salt
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
4 eggs
2 tbsp cornflour, sieved

For the candied seeds
100g pumpkin seeds
7 tbsp icing sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger

Preparation method

The amount of liquid in pumpkins and squashes varies wildly, so for this aim for a batter with a thick, double cream consistency.
IMG_7235Steam the pumpkin for half an hour, until tender. Heat the oven to 180ºC and line the base and sides of a 21cm cake tin with parchment paper. Melt the butter in a small pan. Put the biscuits in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin to turn into coarse crumbs. Stir into the melted butter, then tip into the lined cake tin and press down and into the edges. Brush with egg white and bake for eight minutes, until golden and set, then remove. Turn down the oven to 150ºC.

IMG_7234Beat the cooled pumpkin with the paddle attachment of a food mixer until smooth (or pass it through a sieve). Beat in the cream cheese, creme fraiche, sugar, a pinch of salt, spices, ginger and, one by one, the eggs. Fold in the cornflour, then tip over the biscuit base. Bake for 75 minutes, until the top has begun to colour and the middle has just a slight wobble. Leave to cool, then refrigerate for at least three hours.

Put all the ingredients for the seeds in a pan with a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring, on medium-high heat until the sugar melts and the seeds begin to pop. Add a dash of water and carry on cooking until the mixture darkens and caramelises. Spread across a parchment-lined baking tray and leave to cool.

IMG_7240When you’re ready to eat, break up the candied seeds, sprinkle over the top of the chilled cake and serve.

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