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Gobble Gobble: Pumpkin Ginger Cheesecake

Gobble Gobble: Pumpkin Ginger Cheesecake

Gentleman Jack kicks up this ginger pumpkin cheesecake a full notch!

Time is nigh for setting the table and facing that big ole mess we call family…and all that that entails. This seems to be the one holiday when everyone descends on the same day and comes with baggage instead of picnic baskets. But let’s be real – we are indeed so lucky that we can in fact gather, break bread and give thanks. I am hoping the biggest debate your gang faces on Thursday is sweet potato or pumpkin. (I’m looking at you Val – duh, pumpkin!) And my picnic basket this year is loaded with a secret weapon – a dessert that you can make a day or two ahead. Check that box. Move on. Worry about the Beaujolais Nouveau and who will do the dishes.  Dessert is mission-accomplished. This pumpkin ginger cheesecake falls smack in the middle of  the “consider it done” category. That of course assumes you can keep it safeguarded til after dinner on Thursday. It’s tempting.

Fall in Northern Michigan

Thanksgiving dinner often gets a bad rap for being a brown meal. But I love the vibrant colors of fall squashes, pumpkins and gourds. Use them for table settings, roast them for a side or salad,  make a quick bread, or whip them up in a dessert.
Setting The Table

Cheesecakes are pretty flawless desserts to prepare even if you haven’t made them before, as long as you follow a few simple tips. They are super sturdy, so you don’t need a deft hand. I would argue quite the opposite. You really don’t want to be dainty with the batter – don’t incorporate lots of air, do bang the pan, get aggressive. Be bold. If you follow my instructions and read the accompanying notes, you will be a star performer – dare I say, a pastry chef. Start with your ingredients at room temperature, use a good quality springform, and use a food processor, not a mixer. A processor will combine the ingredients without incorporating air which will cause the cheesecake to puff and fall, leaving a crater in the center. Allow all the time needed for cooling to room temperature and then refrigerating. It takes time, but not active time. And know that if all else fails – craters or cracks – you will be slathering a cream  topping on and that can cover a multitude of mistakes. Yes, indeed. You are definitely a pastry chef.

Gentleman Jack Pumpkin Ginger Cheesecake

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Pumpkin ginger cheesecake

Tennessee Whiskey Pumpkin Ginger Cheesecake


  • Author: Katy Keck
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: Serves 12 1x

Description

This pumpkin ginger cheesecake is surprisingly light, yet creamy. The nutty crust has that I want more-ish quality! And, a dose of Gentleman Jack Daniels keeps the party rolling.  


Ingredients

Scale

Crust:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Filling:

  • 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 5 ounces Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten

Topping:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar

Instructions

Make the Crust:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine flour, brown sugar, pecans, and melted butter and mix until crumbs adhere. Press into a 9 or 10″ sturdy nonstick springform pan and bake for 10 – 12 minutes. Remove and cool. Wrap pan in heavy duty foil. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.

Make the Filling:

In food processor, puree pumpkin until smooth. Add cream cheese and puree until smooth. Add Gentleman Jack, sugar, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg and pulse until mixed. Add eggs and pulse 2 – 3 times only until just combined. Do not overprocess.

Pour filling into cooled crust and bang pan on the counter to eliminate extra air. Place in a roasting pan and fill with hot water, halfway up the side of the springform. Bake for 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 hours or until set. It may still be a bit wobbly in the center, but it will firm up as it cools.

Turn oven off and leave the cheesecake in the water bath in the oven for 30 minutes more. Remove the roasting pan from the oven, and carefully remove the springform from the water.  Remove foil and cool on wire rack until room temperature. Refrigerate until fully chilled.

Make the Topping:

Combine sour cream, Gentleman Jack, and powdered sugar and spread on top of cheesecake. Refrigerate until set.

Gently run a knife or thin metal spatula around inside edge of pan. When cheesecake has released, open outer pan ring and remove.

Notes

Feel free to substitute a dark Rum or Bourbon if you prefer. 

Tips to cheesecake success:

  • Room temperature ingredients
  • A sturdy springform pan
  • Combine the filling without beaters or a whisk. I use a food processor
  • Wrap the springform pan in foil and bake in a roasting pan filled with hot water half-way up the cheesecake pan
  • Cool slowly and refrigerate well before serving
  • More tips on how to remove the pesky springform bottom below in comments
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 min (plus chilling time)
  • Category: Desserts
  • Cuisine: American

Happy Thanksgiving and Gobble Gobble!

Thanksgiving bounty

This post contains affiliate links. For more of my must-have favorites, including the mashed potato essential – a potato ricer – and the best book  ever on Thanksgiving, visit my shop.

© Copyright: KatyKeck.com 2017. All rights reserved.

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A Chia Pudding That Won’t Scare You – Pumpkin Chia Pudding

A Chia Pudding That Won’t Scare You – Pumpkin Chia Pudding

Pumpkin Chia Pudding - Chopped Almonds & Toasted Coconut

Well color me surprised!  If you ever told me I would be writing about Pumpkin Chia Pudding, I would have called you a big fat liar.  Not really my thang.  But a couple weeks ago I ran across a post called Chia Seed Pudding Is Disgusting, and You Know It and

LOL

I also felt compelled to set the record straight. True, the commercially produced products that the author referenced can be “gelatinous, slimy, and look like frogspawn”, but I have the secret ingredient for a homemade version, and it’s probably already in your pantry.  Pumpkin puree.  The author of the post, Bailey Bennett, seems to be most horrified by the mouth-feel  (“chewy mucous”………are you howling yet?? Come on!!!   It’s a healthy seed, people, not the apocalypse).  I propose that with the mere addition of  pumpkin, it is neither slimy nor looks like tadpoles in training. This is not the first time I have let pumpkin do my heavy lifting. A client once had me try to sneak a secret healthy ingredient into a dessert bar.  They wanted brownies, but I knew it would be too obvious – I went with pumpkin pie bars, figuring that pumpkin was already famous for making the leap from vegetable to dessert. I needed to merely ride her coattails.

Fall in Northern Michigan

Adding pumpkin to chia goo actually makes for a hearty breakfast pudding (or porridge, your call) that takes zero cooking and can be made ahead.  To serve, I just zap it in the micro with a splash of coconut milk (the beverage in the refrigerated milk alternative section, not the canned full-fat Asian ingredient) and top with chopped almonds for added protein. It’s also great straight from the fridge – kind of like Siggi’s pumpkin yogurt, minus the dairy devil.

Mine is a creamy, full-flavor, dessert-like breakfast dish, ready on the fly. None of the “gelatinous mold that wiggles, jiggles and squelches with every touch of a spoon”.  I can’t be sure, but I suspect Bailey’s brother stuffed chia pudding in her sneakers at some point. I had a similar experience with Vienna Sausages and I feel her pain.

White Chia & Pumpkin Pie Spices

Chia is an herb in the mint family and a rich source of Omega 3, B Vitamins, Calcium, and Manganese. (For more on those nutritional benefits, check out Health Ambition).  For me, the real rock star is its protein content.  A life-long struggler with eating in the a.m. (I went to work in television at 4am way too often, sometimes after closing the restaurant at 2 am), breakfast was for me theeeeee meal to skip.  And if I grabbed something in the studio, I can assure you it was not worthy.  No doubt, it was carb-heavy and protein-free.  Though I wanted to….I. Just. Could. Not.  The elusive fantasy meal needed to be tasty, high protein (or sleepless me would sugar-crash soon), portable, and bonus points for being able to be sucked down. Fast.  During my Bush’s Best Beans days, I concocted a smoothie secretly filled with Great Northerns.  It worked really well for a long time, but then Greek Yogurt came on the scene and caught my eye. I am nothing if not a serial breakfast loyalist.  More recently I have wanted to find several options of the perfect combo (delish, hi-protein, fast, portable) with less reliance on dairy.  After devouring everything written by Lyn-Genet Recitas, creator of The Plan, I committed to 10 grams of protein for breakfast – non-dairy.  Whaaaaaaaaaat?  You’re scaring me!!!!!! How will YOU EVER do that?????? That’s when I started dabbling with spelt flakes, flax granola and chia pudding.  And, we’re back. Chia Pudding! Pumpkin Chia Pudding!!

This recipe is made in 2 minutes – dump and stir – and packs 8-10 grams of protein (depending on how many almonds in your topping (shout out to pumpkin seeds – a small handful has 9 grams of protein and is a great source of zinc)). It’s very low in sugar (bonus in preventing late morning crashes) and is high in fiber – 45% of your RDA. And of course, all those spices are amazing for digestion and so much more. Cinnamon alone aids digestion, is helpful with controlling type 2 diabetes and cholesterol, and serves as an anti-inflammatory.  It’s all good!

But most importantly, it’s tasty and easy to take to work or eat on the fly.  And it does not, I’m quite sure,  include, as Bailey suggests, the “tears of all the poor souls who’ve wasted their afternoon snack on a bowl of grayish goo.”

Pumpkin Chia Pudding

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Pumpkin Chia Pudding

Pumpkin Chia Pudding


  • Author: Katy Keck
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Description

This rich and creamy pumpkin chia pudding is actually a healthy, high-protein, high-fiber, low-sugar breakfast-on-the-run kind of dish. It doubles as a dessert.  


Ingredients

Scale
  • ½ cup chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened coconut milk beverage (I like Silk, Trader Joe’s, or So Delicious – 45 calories per 8 ounce cup. The sweetened versions have another 4050 calories of sugar).
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 15-ounce can pumpkin puree

Instructions

This is basically a dump and stir recipe.  But, I’ve listed the ingredients in the order I like to add them:

First – the chia and 5 dry spices. Dump. Stir.

Then the milk, maple syrup, and two extracts. Dump. Stir.

Once they are combined and the spices are dissolved, then I fold in the pumpkin.

Store, refrigerated, in an airtight container.

To serve, microwave with an additional splash of coconut milk until warmed through (or serve cold) and top with chopped almonds and coconut flakes.

Notes

Serving suggestions: chopped raw almonds and/or toasted coconut flakes

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Method: Dump & Stir

 

Fall Chia Pudding

© Copyright: KatyKeck.com 2016. All rights reserved.

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