In the meme-based pumpkin pie vs. sweet potato pie war, I am on the side of sweet potato. Though the fall flavors of cinnamon and clove are similar, I prefer the brightness and texture of sweet potato intermingling with buttery, flaky pastry for the holidays. Plus, my grandmother made the best one.
Arguably, pumpkin puree is versatile for many other desserts, including cookies, pound cake, and especially, cheesecake. In her new baking book Pie for Everyone, the chef Petra Paredez asserts that cheesecake is pie. There is no argument for me.
Here is a recipe for a pumpkin cheesecake tart with all the pie spices with a crust made from crushed store-bought cookies. It’s so easy, the filling comes together right in your food processor or blender.
I’d say it’s a pie.
Special equipment: 9-inch tart dish with a removable bottom.
FOR THE CRUST
2 cups gingersnap cookies
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE FILLING
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare tart pan with nonstick cooking spray. Using a food processor or blender, grind gingersnap cookies until fine. Add melted butter and mix well. Press cookie mixture into the tart pan, sealing bottom. Place tart dish on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until done. Remove from oven and let cool.
Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
Using a mixer or blender, combine cream cheese, pumpkin puree, sugars, cinnamon, allspice, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Add eggs, yolk, and cream and blend until smooth.
Pour filling into the prepared tart shell. Rap cookie sheet on the counter to remove air bubbles. Bake for about 25 minutes or until set. Let cool, then chill at least one hour before serving.
— Recipe by Jamila Robinson