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'Tis the Season

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Tort

Image by Andrew Meade.

With autumn upon us, the winds of the holidays are also blowing our way. Pumpkin patches are in full swing, and the flavor of pumpkin is turning up everywhere—and I mean everywhere. Pumpkin has become synonomous with fall. You can find pumpkin lattés, pumpkin bagels, pumpkin cereal, even pumpkin gum!

I haven’t ventured into pumpkin’s more obscure reaches, but I do I enjoy a gourd once in a while—whether in savory dishes or a dessert. Pumpkin cheesecake, one of my favorites, combines classic cheesecake with the equally beloved pumpkin. It’s a simple recipe that will bring out your inner top chef the Ingrid way: easy and delicious. After all, if I can do it, so can you. Buen Provecho!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Tort

9 oz. Chocolate cookie wafers (crushed finely)
¼ cup of sugar
6 tablespoons of melted butter

1½ cups of canned pumpkin puree
½ cup of brown sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
5 ounces of evaporated milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla
½ cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of corn starch
1½ teaspoons of cinnamon
½ teaspoon of ground ginger
¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
¼ teaspoon of ground cloves
3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese at room temperature
A pinch of salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.

2. Mix the crushed chocolate wafers with the sugar and melted butter. Pour this mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake until cooked through, between 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

3. In a bowl mix the canned pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, evaporated milk and vanilla. Set aside.

4. In another large bowl mix the sugar, cornstarch, spices and salt. Then add cream cheese and mix until a smooth dough forms without lumps.

5. With the mixer at maximum speed, add the pumpkin mixture to the cheese until they are well integrated to form a smooth paste. Pour over the cold cookie crust in the pan. Put the pan on a baking sheet and put it in the oven. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until center is slightly soft.

6. Take the tort out of the oven and leave it to cool for 30 minutes. Put it in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours. Remove it from the springform pan and serve.

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