So when I found myself with some time suddenly on Christmas Eve morning, I decided to use up the fresh pumpkin from the CSA in a homemade Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust from Fine cooking. It's a recipe that I have made for years, and it's always amazing. I don't think I've made it with fresh pumpkin before, so that was a risk, plus I was feeling a little ill and spacey before I started, so I should have known it would be an......interesting experience.
It began by grinding up my favorite brand of cookies, Mi-Del. I absolutely cannot have their Vanilla Snaps in the house because I want to eat the whole bag. Will had broken into them the night before, so I was worried about not having enough. After grinding them, I measured in the brown sugar and pulsed it again, thinking it made quite more than I remembered. Just as I'm about to put in the melted butter, it dawns on me that I measured the amount of brown sugar for the FILLING (a cup more!) instead of for the crust. See what I mean about spacey?
I decided to persevere nonetheless. I find baking to be much more challenging than cooking. I'm always determined to conquer my baking foibles, so I improvised and got out a fine sieve and strained the crumb mixture to separate out the sugar!
|It seemed like it would work!|
As it was baking--and it takes nearly two hours--I glanced to the last line of the recipe. My heart sank. It's supposed to chill OVERNIGHT and I had planned to serve it that night. With my chef brother there. Ugh. I counted off the hours on my fingers, and figured that I could have baked it late the night before, and it would have maybe 6 hours? Maybe it would be okay?
|Here it is, in the fridge. CHILL, Baby, CHILL!|
So if you ever wondered if you REALLY need to let a good cheesecake chill overnight, the answer is YES. And NO. Because no one complained, it still tasted great. But it was a pain in the buttOCKS to slice. See, the chilling is so it sets nicely and slices up into a nice neat, beautiful slice on your plate. But my dad, the consummate complainer, said he liked it even more than pumpkin pie. Chef Lee said, "Of course, because there's cheese in it! Everything tastes good with cheese in it!" Amen, brother! and the crust? It tasted like toffee/caramel it was so sweet--almost crunchy!
But, hey. That didn't stop me from having a slice on Christmas Day. With fresh whipped cream? Fuhgeddaboutit!