In November, among other things, I have been thankful for:
- Movies – My waning attention span is a real problem, but man, do I love a movie good enough to suck me in. I saw a couple in theaters this month, and took in The Wizard of Oz one more time on TV the other night.
- Books – And the brain power to sit down and read half of one. Which is .5 books more than I’ve been able to read since early August.
- Friends – Both of the actual and television variety. And this quiz.
- My job – Because although I don’t always love every single minute of it, I know it matters.
- Starbucks – I mean, duh.
- Maryland basketball – It’s a can’t live with it, can’t live without it situation.
- My slow cooker – OMG it’s changed my Sundays.
Also this pumpkin cheesecake, which I made last year, and have been waiting (and waiting, and waiting) to share with you every day since. AGOMYR and CV(D) are on board with it as well. This one, in fact, was made by none other than CV(D) herself, who brought it into our lives at Friendsgiving. She has perfected the art of the cheesecake swirl.
Which is great, because I have perfected the art of eating a leftover piece on the couch.*
To make pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust (from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook), you will need:
For the crust:
4 ounces gingersnap cookies (about 16 cookies), coarsely broken
3 ounces graham crackers (five and a half 2 1/2-by-4 7/8-inch graham-cracker sheets)
4 tablespoons salted butter, melted
For the cheesecake swirl:
4 ounces cream cheese, well softened
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Few fresh gratings of nutmeg
1 cup heavy cream
Make crust: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Finely grind the gingersnaps and graham crackers in a food processor (yielding 1 1/2 cups). Add the melted butter, and process until the cookie-crumb mixture is moistened. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Place pan on rimmed baking sheet.
Make cheesecake batter: Mix together the ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.
Make pumpkin batter: Beat the egg and the egg white lightly in a large bowl. Whisk in the pumpkin, sugars, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Gradually whisk in the cream.
Assemble tart: Pour the pumpkin batter into gingersnap-graham crust. Dollop the cheesecake batter over pumpkin batter, then marble the two together decoratively with a knife. Try not to pierce the bottom crust as you do. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool the tart completely on a rack, or in the fridge if you like it cold. Serve immediately and refrigerate any leftovers.
*A note: it’s not really a leftover piece, so much as I cut out a piece, put it in a container, and hid it in the fridge during the party so I could enjoy it once everyone left. It would have otherwise been gobbled up completely.