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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Swirl Cheesecake with Candied Walnuts


Far easier to make than it looks, this elegant pumpkin spice cheesecake is perfect for the holidays. I originally found the recipe in a magazine (for the life of me I can't remember which one) about fifteen years ago. After realizing it was a big hit one Thanksgiving, I started making it a holiday tradition.  It's nice because you can make it up to two days in advance and keep it refrigerated until you're ready to serve.




After we began to raise our own chickens and I realized that the fresh eggs make any cheesecake so much richer and tastier, this recipe became a keeper at our house!  I love how the swirls even look like fall leaves.

Each year I seem to tweak the recipe just a bit, so my current recipe is quite a bit different than the original recipe I began with all those years ago.

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake with Candied Walnuts

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1-1/2 Cups crushed gingersnap cookies (about 24- 2" round cookies)
4 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
1 Cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or an equal amount of pure vanilla extract)
3 large fresh eggs
3/4 Cup canned pumpkin puree
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon molasses
1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice [read how to make your own]

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and set a teakettle full of water to boil.  Butter a 9" springform pan and wrap two layers of foil around the outside. Combine the butter and gingersnap crumbs and press into the bottom and partway up the sides of the pan.  Chill until ready to use.

With a stand mixer on medium-low, beat cream cheese, granulated sugar and cornstarch until smooth. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla bean paste, and then the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated.  Pour half the batter into a medium bowl and set aside.


Into the remaining batter mix the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, molasses and spices.  Set aside one cup of the pumpkin batter.

Spread half of the pumpkin batter over the crust.  Top that with half the plain batter, then the remaining half of pumpkin batter and the remaining plain batter to make layers.  Dot the reserved cup of pumpkin batter over the top and with a toothpick swirl the batters to create your design.


Place the cheesecake in a large roasting pan and fill the pan partway with boiling water, making sure not to fill above the foil.  (The water bath will keep your cheesecake from splitting or cracking on top)


Bake for one hour and 20 minutes, or until the center of the cheesecake jiggles only slightly when tapped. Remove from the oven and place on cooling rack. Run a knife around the edge to loosen and allow to cool. When cool, remove the side of the springform pan and chill several hours (or overnight) before serving. Decorate with candied walnuts (recipe follows below).


Candied Walnuts

1 Cup walnuts
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons brown sugar

In a heavy cast iron pan, melt the butter.  Add the walnuts and toss to cover with melted butter.  Sprinkle the sugar into the pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the sugars start to caramelize and the walnuts start to smell 'nutty'.  Remove the nuts to a piece of parchment paper to cool.  Garnish the chilled cheesecake just prior to serving.



NOTE:  Your chickens will love the leftover pumpkin puree. It's super healthy for them and the beta-carotene will make vibrant orange egg yolks!


BECAUSE LIFE IS JUST BETTER WITH CHICKENS!

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29 comments:

  1. That looks completely amazing. Definitely giving it a shot.

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    1. Oh good! It really is pretty easy and foolproof. It always comes out great.

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    2. Hi i know this is not appropiate but i will use this recipe. the original i had was from a local good cook in N H it has ben years that i have not had a good chease cake with a pumpkin or winter squash base. what attracted me to your ( fresh egg daily farm girl).
      at age 5 i had to go down to one of the three chicken coops or barns and gather the eggs. at first i was to get 1 to 2 dozen. as you know this progressed around 10 years i ended up colecting eggs from about 250 hens along with other responcibilities.i am 66 years old now and still of the opinion that good farm fresh natural fed (no fast grow junk)is best.
      thanks for the recipe as it was a good favorite desert.
      Daniel dacarey199@yahoo.com

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  2. So pretty! Sounds very tasty, too. I agree that fresh eggs make anything you bake taste that much better!

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  3. This is just a feast for the eyes. Love the pretty swirled top.

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    1. Thanks! I try to make it look like leaves, I think I succeeded (sort of) this time!

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  4. Wow, you are really talented! This looks beautiful :)

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  5. Delicious! I LOVE cheesecake and pumpkin makes it better...I think I may have this same recipe (the original at least) and mine is a Kraft recipe I got from an ad in a magazine. It IS wonderful and I'm sure your additions and fresh eggs really make it great! Thanks for posting, I may just have to make one this year...Nancy at livininthegreen.blogspot.com

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    1. I wish I could figure out where I got the recipe, but honestly I've been making this since at least 1995, I think, maybe even earlier. And I've crossed out and changed little amounts. I know the original had like four or five spices in it, but I found it easier to just toss in some pumpkin pie spice.

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  6. Oh my - that is definitely something that I'll have to try. I love pumpkin stuff, and of course cheesecake is wonderful. This has got to be good.

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  7. This sounds really good. I am cooking up some pumpkin on Friday. We will have to try this.

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  8. Definitely going to try....my oldest Jason loves cheesecake...Thanks!!

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  9. YUM-O. The pumpkin lover in me is drooling! :)

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  10. The swirls on the top of this delicious-looking cheesecake look almost like leaves!

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  11. This recipe looks so yummy. I am always looking for an alternative to pumpkin pie as its not my favorite but, pumpkin with cheesecake hello. Thanks for sharing. Drop by anytime visiting from DearCreatives.com

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  12. Looks wonderful, Lisa! I am a huge baked cheesecake fan and pumpkin is one of my favorite flavors. I like the candied walnut idea too.

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  13. Oh Lisa, this is so beautiful and looks delicious. I am definitely going to try this for Thanksgiving this year. (If I can pull off the "leaf" swirl it will be a hit at Maple Grove!) Thanks for sharing. ~Katie

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    1. Oh good ! You can. I pull the toothpick down the middle of each blob and then kind of pull it out - for the leaf veining...

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  14. So beautiful and looks scrumptious!!

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  15. Great looking cake and sounds FANTASTIC

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  16. This cheesecake looks amazingly yummy! I love all the fall flavors and the walnuts look like a nice extra touch!

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  17. I am so in love with cheesecake and yours looks absolutely professional! Love every thing about it. Thanks so much for linking up at Weekend Potluck. Please come again soon.

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  18. oh my goodness, pretty food and yummy too. Thank you for sharing your post at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop , wishing you a beautiful day xo

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  19. OMG this looks super yummy! Thanx so much for sharing at THT!

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Lisa/Fresh Eggs Daily Farm Girl
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