Momma’s Incredible PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE
Pumpkins are an iconic symbol of the fall season and are often associated with Halloween and Thanksgiving. But have you ever wondered about the history and origins of this beloved fruit? Pumpkins are believed to have originated in Central America over 7,500 years ago. They were first cultivated by Native Americans, who used them as a staple in their diets and for medicinal purposes. When European settlers arrived in America, they quickly adopted pumpkin as a food source and began to incorporate it into traditional European dishes. Today, pumpkins are enjoyed worldwide in a variety of ways, from pumpkin pie to pumpkin spice lattes. So next time you enjoy a pumpkin treat, remember the rich history and cultural significance behind this beloved fruit.
Indulge in Momma’s Incredible PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE. Made with the freshest ingredients, this dessert is the perfect addition to your fall festivities. With a creamy pumpkin filling on a graham cracker crust, each bite is a delightful blend of sweet and spicy flavors.
EQUIPMENT: 3-quart saucepan with lid, 12 x 10 Baking Lasagna Pan, or leak-proof spring form pan, Rotary Mandolin food cutter, large mixing bowl, measuring cups, and whisk or electric hand blender.
PREPARATION: Preparation: 1 hour 20 minutes - makes 8 to 10 servings
- 2/3 cup graham crackers grated #1 cutting cone.
- 1 tablespoon sifted powdered sugar.
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest grated #1 cutting cone.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened.
PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE FILLING
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup Coco Lopez
- 12 ounces of evaporated milk, 1 can
- 14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk, 1 can
- 16-ounce cream cheese, at room temperature, 2 packages
- 1½ to 2 cups fresh pumpkin puree cooked the waterless way.
- 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice
NOTE: For maximum flavor, you will want to cook the shredded pumpkin the waterless way.
Slice the pumpkin in 2 to 2 ½ strips. Using the rotary mandolin food cutter, please the out skin of the pumpkin to the bake of the hopper and grate the pumpkin on the #1 cutting cone.
Place the pumpkin in a 3-quart waterless cooking pan. Rinse with filtered or purified water then pour all the water off. Just the water that clings to the shredded pumpkin is sufficient for cooking the waterless way. Place on medium heat 275ᵒF with the vent open, when steam begins to escape from the vent, or the whistle sounds close the vent immediately and reduce the heat to low 200ᵒF Cook for 20 to 25 minutes until soft. Do not peak, removing the cover will allow the steam to escape and the pumpkin may scorch on the bottom.
Set aside to allow it to cool sufficiently. Pour the excess water off and cream the pumpkin together with a fork or potato masher.
Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use or place in Ultra-
Vac storage containers or glass vacuum jars.
NOTE: A medium to large pumpkin makes 5 to 8 cups of pumpkin puree.
Preheat oven to 350ᵒF. Fill the baking pan halfway with hot water and place it on the center rack in the oven.
For Crust: In a small mixing bowl combine crackers, powdered sugar, and lemon zest with butter. Mix well and press into the bottom and sides of the spring form pan. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes; set aside to cool.
For Filling: Whisk the eggs to a froth. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk vigorously to combine, but do not overbeat the mixture. Pour the cheesecake filling into a leak-proof spring form pan. Note: Be sure your spring form pan is 100% leak-proof, if not, encase the bottom and sides in plastic wrap such as Saran Wrap and tin foil. Place the filled spring form pan into the water and bake for 1 hour. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the cheesecake filling. When the toothpick comes out clean, the cheesecake is done.
Momma’s Secret: When finish baking, turn the oven off and crack the door. Allow the cheesecake to remain in the oven to cool down gradually for 1 hour. This will prevent the cheesecake from cracking or separating.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven and set aside to cool for about 30 minutes, and then place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
To serve: Loosen the cheesecake from the pan by running a thin knife between the crust and the side of the pan; then release the latch. Garnish with whipped cream and fresh mint leaves; then serve.