Wandering Chopstick's Weekend Wokking. This is truly an exciting challenge as we get to see the different ways we can cook one ingredient. For this month, Precious Pea chose Pumpkin! It is very fitting by the way, because I know it is pumpkin season in America.
However, here in the Philippines, we do not really grow pumpkins! At least the ones you are familiar with in the western world. We have the local pumpkin we call kalabasa. This veggie is available whole-year round. And we do not really carve these pumpkins. Actually, I do not consider these as pumpkins, Kalabasa is more like squash. When I googled, to try to learn more about the difference, I learned that there are many varieties of squash. Pumpkin is one variety of squash. Our local kalabasa is another.
Being true to the pumpkin challenge, I have no alternative but to use the canned variety - which is easily available here. But I do not want to make a pie. At first I thought about making muffins, but another baking event already did that. I also wanted to make a dessert that my family will love. We are cheesecake fans, so cheesecake it is.
For the Crust:
1 C graham crackers, crushed
sprinkling of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves
6 T melted butter
For the Filling:
2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 C brown sugar
1 C canned solid-packed pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
2 T all-purpose flour
1/4 t salt
sprinkling of cinnamon, ginger powder, nutmeg and cloves
1. Mix the crushed graham crackers with the spices and the melted butter. Press into a 9 inch- spring-form pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Preheat oven to 350F.
3. In an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, pumpkin puree, flour, spices and salt. Mix until combined. Add in eggs one at a time, beating well each time.
4. Pour into the prepared pan with crust. Bake baine-marie in the oven for 1 hour or until the cheesecake is set.
5. Cool in pan or chill overnight before serving. Cut with a knife dipped in water. Serve as is or topped with ice cream, a dollop of cream, or decorate with candy sprinkles.
Hubby said my cheesecake look better plain (see the first picture). What do you think? I just wanted to decorate with the new autumn-inspired sprinkles that 5th sister gave me. :) The cheesecake tastes great, by the way. But maybe it's just us. We love any kind of cheesecake.
One last note: Whenever I try to bake a NY style cheesecake before, I never included flour. The center of the cheesecake always turns out "sunken." The top of the cheesecake does not turn out even. Last week, my sisters and I were able to taste a cheesecake from a popular coffee chain. We were wondering why the cheesecake top was nicely straight and evenly baked, not like the cheesecake we make at home. When we tasted their cheesecake, the taste was lacking in cheesecake flavor, it tasted like they added lots of flour. So, when I made today's version of cheesecake, I thought of adding some flour just for experiment, so added just two tablespoon of flour (for 2 bars of cheesecake). And look! The cheesecake did not sink at the center! The top was flat and evenly baked! So, that was the secret! And the cheesecake still tastes great! No floury taste at all. :)
Sharing this pumpkin cheesecake with the Weekend Wokking food event. It is a worldwide event created by Wandering Chopsticks to see the many different ways we can cook one ingredient. The ingredient for the month is Pumpkin! The host this month is me! So please check in by Wednesday for the round up of many delicious ways we can cook the pumpkin. I have received so many delicious entries already - both savoury and sweet. You can still join in the fun! I will wait for your recipes until Tuesday. To see previous round-ups, please click here. Next month's host will be Wiffy of Noobcook and you have to check back here on Wednesday to know what is the secret ingredient next month :)