I discovered just how astonishingly good pumpkin is when not obscured by cinnamon and ginger when I tasted a pumpkin mousse prepared by Jehanne Burch at the Castle Hill Inn & Resort in Newport, Rhode Island. Her mousse contained only pumpkin, sugar, heavy cream, and gelatin. It was a revelation. If you use an electric mixer, start by beating the cream cheese with the whisk attachment until it’s very smooth, and then add the cooked pumpkin mixture and the remaining ingredients.
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A great recipe I have been making on and off for thanksgiving since the original issue came out. I love pumpkin, but hate that 'pumpkin pie spice' flavor, so this was a revelation to me way back then-- a sweet pumpkin dish that didn't mostly taste like cinnamon and cloves. The food processor is also a great cheesecake tool that makes a smooth but not over-aerated batter. I disagree with the previous reviewer that said this was mousse-like; it's the creamier side of cheesecake-dom rather than the gummier, stick-to-roof-of-your-mouth side (all to the good, in my opinion), but it's not at all airy or mousse like. I prefer to increase the pumpkin (or roasted butternut squash) by 50% to give it a stronger pumpkin flavor, which also makes it a bit stiffer and easier to cut. (This is one cheesecake that really must be fully chilled.) I also like to make it with crispier cookies like nut-shortbread rather than gingersnaps-- even prefer it without spice in the crust, but as written it is a nice compromise for the spice-lovers and spice-haters. A great, rich but not too sweet thanksgiving dessert.
This was very tasty, however I will say it's more mousse like than cheesecake like. It was still extremely tasty, just not very much like an actual cheesecake. I liked the simplicity of it...though I did add a bit of freshly grated nutmeg, and it turned out great.
I loved that I could make this the day before and store it in the fridge. I was disappointed to find that the two layers of heavy duty foil I wrapped around the pan didn't prevent water from getting into the crust from the water bath it was baked in. And I didn't think to check for that till after the cheesecake had cooled on the rack. I wish the author had admonished us to check for water as soon as we took it out of the oven, and then it would drain that much quicker and perhaps evaporate. My crust was soggy, but it still tasted amazing, and overall everyone was delighted with this recipe.The comments were about how light it tasted, and how great it tasted, not too overwhelming in any one area, just perfect. I thought it could have used more pumpkin...one cup was not much, but I followed it anyway, and it did taste great. I also for the garnish, tossed the toasted pecans in the pan with some sugar, ginger powder and cinnamon, to glaze them a little. Plain toasted pecans seemed too boring.I NEVER bake..well ok, maybe once or twice a year, so I'm definitely a novice. I appreciated the very in-depth instructions, and followed them to the letter, except for the changes I mentioned. Thank you Rose Levy Beranbaum and Fine Cooking for helping this novice make an amazing dessert for thanksgiving!!
My family LOVES this recipe. Everyone looks forward to Thanksgiving dinner because of this cheesecake! Being able to bake it the day before is a huge plus.
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