I don't know about your family, but we are pretty traditional when it comes to holiday food. We like turkey on Thanksgiving with pumpkin pie for dessert, we eat fondue every Christmas eve, and if I don't have hashbrown casserole on Christmas day, I might cry. So when I said that we were going to have cheesecake for dessert on Thanksgiving, I thought I was going to be met with pitchforks. But instead, my brother-in-law practically cheered and that easy my fear ten fold. Thank goodness my in-laws are easy to please when it comes to food. They are the best guests.
I saw Anne Thornton make this on Dessert First and I immediately wanted to try it. As I've said before, I'm not that huge of a pumpkin fan, but I do like a few desserts that incorporate pumpkin.
As soon as we bit into this dessert on Thanksgiving, I knew it had become a new tradition. The pumpkin isn't overpowering, yet still a distinct flavor and the smoothness of the cheesecake with the crunch of the walnuts was perfect. I might even whip this out for Christmas. Pumpkin is still appropriate, right? ;)
Pumpkin Maple Cheesecake with Walnut-Maple Glaze
adapted from Dessert First
For the cheesecake:
1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs, using about 12 graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter, slightly cooled
3 8 oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
3 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
For the glaze:
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. For the cheesecake: Finely crush the graham crackers in a plastic bag with a rolling pin or in the bowl of a food processor.
3. In a large bowl, combine the graham crackers crumbs, sugar, and melted butter and firmly press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
4. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Slowly add the sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add the pumpkin, eggs, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix well until fluffy and pour into the springform pan.
5. Bake until the center is almost set but jiggles slightly, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool for 1 hour and then chill overnight, or for a minimum of 4 hours.
6. For the glaze: In a medium saucepan, combine the cream and the syrup. Bring to a boil.
7. Simmer until slightly thickened, 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
8. Stir in the walnuts and cover. Chill until time to serve. Stir before serving and pour over cheesecake or serve on the side.