In the US there are 4 lovely seasons – Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter. Here in the Cayman Islands – we only have 2 seasons – hurricane season, and the rest of the year (or as some people say – dry season and wet season). Unfortunately most of the locally grown bounty is ripe for the picking during the summer months, but this time of year, it’s the perfect time for ground provisions – such as pumpkin! It’s very fitting too, since world wide people are enjoying lots of lovely pumpkin-y and squash-y appetizers, main courses, side dishes and my favourite – desserts!
I was given a lovely local pumpkin from my Grand-Aunt’s garden and I used it to make all kinds of goodies – soup, pumpkin bread and this one – pumpkin cheesecake! I had such a great time with all of the pumpkin recipes, I got a little bit carried away. My poor husband had to deal with pumpkin dishes all week long! This time of year I always try to get my hands on a great piece of fresh, locally grown pumpkin. This tutorial resulted as it just happened to be one of those times when I actually remembered to take pictures (albeit with my iPhone – so not as great as it could have been) as I went along!
Here’s my pumpkin cheesecake recipe:
- 1 package of Jamaican Ginger Biscuits (or graham crackers would work well too, I’m sure!)
- 1/2 stick of butter, melted
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 16 oz of cream cheese
- 1 & 1/4 cup of brown sugar
- 2 cups of pumpkin puree
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
1. Steam your pumpkin until it is fork tender – you should be able to make a nice smooth mash with just your fork, but you can use a blender or food processor if you like.
2. Once the pumpkin is mashed and cooled, assemble the rest of your ingredients.
3. Start making your crust. You can always use store bought crumbs, or a food processor. As you can see, I use a more old-fashioned method of getting those crumbs – a ziploc bag and a mallet! You can always double bag your crackers if you’re worried about the bag exploding on you.
4. Add your melted butter and sugar to the crumbs, mix well and pat it into the bottom of your springform pan. I bake it in a preheated oven for 5-8 minutes to help it set.
5. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add your sugar to the softened cream cheese and start mixing away! Don’t overbeat it – you just want it to be smooth and combined.
It should look kind of like this:
6. Add the pumpkin, vanilla and spices and mix well.
7. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
8. Don’t forget to scrape down the sides, and give it a last quick mix to make sure everything is combined well. Then pour the cheesecake mixture over your prepared ginger crust.
9. Bake it in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 minutes. No more – no less. Add your favourite topping (I used sweetened cream and butterscotch caramel sauce) and chill for at least 4 hours – I try to do mine overnight.
10. Then serve and enjoy! (Excuse the dismal paper plate – it was leftover from my holiday celebrations last year and I thought it was the perfect way to enjoy this festive dessert without washing any dishes!)
Hope you enjoy this recipe – if you try it out – let me know what you think!!! I had fun tweaking this recipe until it was just right!
With best wishes for a “sweet” day ~ CaymanCake!