Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart
There is a fat kid inside me who is constantly trying to get out.
There is also a drag queen in there. And a kitty cat. But that’s not why we’re here.
We’re here for this pumpkin cheesecake tart, which I made for the first of my two Thanksgivings this past weekend. To the eternal joy of my inner fat kid, my dad’s side of the family does Thanksgiving a week before, out of a desire for familial equality, or possibly an insatiable love of food. Either way, I’m good with it.
After finally getting my hands on the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook and discovering this recipe that combines four of my favorite things — pumpkin pie and cheesecake, plus graham cracker AND ginger snaps as a crust — I selflessly volunteered to make dessert. This was one of them. And it was phenomenal.
It’s more firm than pumpkin pie, closer to cheesecake in texture (shocking, right), and it has more flavor; it isn’t watery like normal pumpkin pie can sometimes be. And did I mention the graham-cracker-ginger-snap hybrid crust. Basically I’m saying I’ve one-upped pumpkin pie. You’re welcome.
Don’t be put off by how long/complicated/time-consuming the recipe looks: it comes together quickly and it’s actually really simple. Although I did find that there seemed to be a bit too much batter because it did overflow a bit. I might have mis-measured the pumpkin or something? I say that as a question because I don’t think I did, but I’m scarred because of this one time over the summer when I was trying to double a cookie recipe and accidentally quadrupled the butter, and it was a whole ordeal and at the end I had like 72 cookies. We don’t need to talk about it.
PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE TART
from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
~16 ginger snap cookies (4 oz.)
5 1/2 sheets of graham crackers (3 oz.)
1/2 stick (4 tbl.(butter)
4 oz. (1/2 brick) cream cheese, well-softened
3 tbl. granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
1/4 granulated sugar
1/4 brown sugar
1/2 tsp. table salt
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Finely grind ginger snaps and graham crackers in a food processor (or put them in a ziploc and smash the hell out of them/roll over them with a rolling pin) — you should get about 1 1/2 cups. Add the melted butter and process until the crumb mixture is combined.
Press the crust mix firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-in. tart pan with a removable bottom. Place pan on a rimmed baking sheet (you bake it on here so it doesn’t fall apart. I don;t know if that’s obvious or not. But I didn’t get it at first).
Mix cheesecake batter ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth.
In a large bowl, beat the egg and egg white lightly with a fork or electric beater. Whisk in the pumpkin, sugars, salt, and spices. Gradually whisk in the cream.
Pour the pumpkin mix into the pan on top of the crust. Dollop the cheesecake batter over the pumpkin batter, the marble the two together attractively (hopefully) with a knife, taking care not to disturb the crust.
Bake 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, or until a fork or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool completely on a rack and serve at room temperature or cold.