Did you know, that in the US, Halloween is one of the bigger celebrations of the year???
People spend an enormous amount of money on decorations, costumes and candies. There are parties where people compete on who has the best costume.
Halloween is another one of those celebrations that I didn’t grow up with. I never used to bake “finger cookies”with fake blood or make faux”eye ball dishes”. Yikes…. I have also always been afraid of people in masks. I guess the fact that you can’t see who is behind the mask was so scary that I never really tried to adapt to Halloween.
I have created my own Halloween tradition, my family and I carve pumpkins. It is so much fun. We skip all the costumes and candies and stick to the carving. It is a little messy and crazy in the kitchen when we start, but it is so much fun. When done, we place them on the steps in front of the house with a lit candle inside.
So instead of giving you a recipe of some scary food or dessert I am giving you the best cheesecake ever!!!! Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger/Pecan crust!!!
It is just so smooth,light and fantastic and it gives you a little teaser for the holidays to come.
Halloween Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger/Pecan crust.
1 c. flour.
1/4 c. chopped candied ginger.
1/4 c. chopped pecans.
1 stick of unsalted butter (113 grams).
1/4 c. brown sugar.
1 tbsp. cold water.
Pinch of salt.
Mix flour, ginger, pecans, sugar & salt in a food processor. Make sure all is very finely ground. Add butter and water. Mix until it becomes a crumbly “dough” .
Take the dough and press into a lightly buttered pan (about 3″ high & 9″ in diameter).
Wrap some foil around the outside of the pan. Bake it in a 350 F degree oven (175 C) for about 25 minutes or until it starts to lightly brown.
When done, let cool completely on a wire rack.
The Pumpkin filling;
1 c. pumpkin puree (any kind. Bake it in the oven and scrape out the “meat” when done or just use canned pumpkin puree. I baked an acorn squash.)
1 1/4 lb. good cream cheese (aprx. 550grams).
1/2 c. heavy cream.
4 large eggs.
1/2 c. granulated sugar (white sugar).
1/2 c. light brown (or dark) sugar.
2 tsp. vanilla extract or vanilla sugar.
1 tsp. ground cinnamon.
1/2 tsp. ground ginger.
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg.
1 tsp. potato flour or cornstarch.
Rind of a clementine , orange or satsuma (optional).
1/4 tsp. salt.
Whisk together the pumpkin puree, heavy cream, vanilla extract or sugar, ground ginger, cinnamon & nutmeg & salt. Set the mixture aside.
In another bowl use a hand mixer (or if you rather use a stand mixer) to soften the cream cheese. Add the sugars. Mix well. Add the potato flour or cornstarch & the eggs, one at a time. Add the clementine rind at this time. Combine the two parts of the filling. Mix well.
Pour the batter onto the crust. Put the pan in a water bath (oven proof pan with water reaching aprx. 1″ up on the foil covered cheesecake pan.) Bake in the middle of the oven in a 325F degree ( 160C) for about 70-80 minutes or until done. The center of the cake will be slightly wobbly but it will set as it cools down.
To prevent the cake from “cracking”, run a paring knife around the sides of the cake. Let cool. You can let it cool over night in the fridge as well.
Serve with some whipped cream. It makes it a little heavy but it is yummy. If you would like to, you can add some clementine zest or juice to the whipped cream. Another way to “spike” the whipped cream is to add a little ground ginger to it while whipping. This gives it a little “bite”.
You can dust a little ground cinnamon over the cake as well.
In Sweden, we have something called all saints day (Allhelgona). We light candles at gravesites or memory groves. This to pay our respect to the dead loved ones. These candles are special “grave candles” that burns non stop for about 3 days. It is so beautiful and peaceful to travel trough Sweden during Allhelgona.
I try to always grow some kind of pumpkin in the garden. This year, we grew these little miniature ones.
Our carved pumpkins on the steps to our house.