Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart

Every Thanksgiving, I try to add a few fun twists to my sweets table.  So this year, I’m combining two of the best desserts I know: Pumpkin Pie and Cheesecake.  Made with a Gingersnap Cookie crust and baked in a tart pan, this will be a standout dessert at your holiday table too!

Store bought gingersnap cookies will work beautifully but if you have a little extra time and want an INSANELY good crust, use my recipe for Soft and Chewy Gingersnap Cookies (add an extra minute or two to the baking time- you’ll want them a little crispier for the crust.)  I mixed up a double batch of cookie dough, baked off about 6 large cookies and froze the rest of the raw dough balls (that’ll come in handy for a last minute holiday party in December.)

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups gingersnap cookies, crushed into fine crumbs
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup light brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 pound cream cheese, softened (2 eight ounce packages)
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup canned pumpkin, (not pumpkin pie filling)
¼ cup sour cream
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste, (can substitute with vanilla extract if you don’t have paste)
powdered sugar, to dust on top after baking

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.  (You can also use a pie dish if you don’t have a tart pan.)

For the crust:

In a medium bowl, mix together the first 5 ingredients.  Add the melted butter and mix until all is combined.  (I like to use my hands for this part.)

Press the mixture over the bottom of the tart pan.

Bake crust for 12 minutes. Set aside to cool completely while you make the filling. Keep the oven on.

For the filling:

Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or a hand held mixer), beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and no lumps remain- about 3 minutes.  Scrape down the bowl once or twice with a rubber spatula during mixing.

Add the sugars, flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy- about 3 minutes.  Again, scrape down the bowl with a spatula once or twice so that everything is evenly combined.

Add the pumpkin and sour cream and mix until combined.

Add each egg one at a time, followed by the vanilla bean paste and beat on low speed just until everything is combined.

Pour batter into tart pan with cooled gingersnap crust and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until set (give cake a jiggle- if the center stays put, it’s done.)

Cool cheesecake on a wire rack.  Once cooled, cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving.

When ready to serve, remove the tart ring. Run hot sink water over an offset spatula to get it hot.  Dry spatula completely and while it’s still hot, slide it right under the cheesecake to release it from the bottom of the pan.  Transfer cheesecake to a serving plate.

Dust top with powdered sugar and serve with freshly whipped cream.

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