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With its rum-scented creamy filling and a spiced undercarriage of gingersnap crumbs, this pumpkin cheesecake recipe from Bernard L. Herman’s 2012 story “A Bountiful Shore” is a welcome revamp of the traditional dessert. Diehard bakers: feel free to zhuzh things up with from-scratch gingersnaps and pumpkin purée; for the rest of us mere mortals, there’s always excellent-quality canned pumpkin (such as Libby’s) and gingersnaps (such as the family-owned Susan Snaps).   

Featured in: “A Bountiful Shore.”

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pumpkin Cheesecake
Rum and gingersnaps give this decadent autumn dessert a spicy, warming flavor.
Yield: serves 12
Time: 6 hours, 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 13 oz. gingersnap cookies
  • 12 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (2⅔ oz.)
  • 12 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 34 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 34 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 tbsp. dark rum
  • 1 12 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 12 tsp. kosher salt
  • 14 tsp. ground cloves
  • 14 tsp. ground ginger
  • 14 tsp. ground mace
  • 2 large eggs

Instructions

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. To the work bowl of a food processor, add the gingersnaps, walnuts, and confectioners’ sugar, and process until finely ground. Add the butter and pulse until incorporated. Transfer to a 9-inch springform pan set on a rimmed baking sheet. Using a glass, press the crumbs into an even layer on the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan; set aside. Clean and dry the work bowl and return it to the base.
  2. To the empty work bowl, add the cream cheese, sugar, pumpkin, rum, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, cloves, ginger, mace, and eggs, then process until smooth, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula halfway through blending. Scrape the filling into the crust and bake until browned on top and the middle jiggles slightly when the pan is tapped, about 1½ hours. Let cool to room temperature, then chill until set, at least 4 hours.

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