22 November 2017

Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Made with Cream Cheese

Note: Please keep in mind that my recipes reflect only my own experience, and that if you choose to follow them you do so at your own risk!


When I was growing up, I didn't like pumpkin pie. Once I got older, I realized it wasn't that I inherently disliked it--it's just that I'm particular about how it's made. Most pumpkin pies are too heavily spiced for my liking, and often too grainy in texture if they're not prepared well. But I've found a secret to getting perfectly silky-smooth pumpkin pie every time: using cream cheese in place of the usual evaporated milk. It's not enough to turn it into pumpkin cheesecake, but just enough to create the perfect texture and add a bit of nuanced flavor to the sugar and spice.

  Ingredients

- 8 oz. Neufchatel/light cream cheese or regular cream cheese
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 15 oz. pureed pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare your favorite crust in a 9-inch pie dish--I recommend a graham cracker or shortbread crust. (Store-bought crusts are usually smaller, so if you use one, you'll have a bit of extra pumpkin mixture left.)

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the Neufchatel or cream cheese with the sugar using an electric mixer. If you don't have an electric mixer, you can do this by hand--just soften the cheese at room temperature first and use a fork to combine it with the sugar.

3. Add the eggs, vanilla, salt, and spices to the bowl and beat well until the mixture is completely smooth.

4. Add the pumpkin to the bowl and beat again until the mixture is well-blended. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom and beat if any of the mixture is left uncombined.

5. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the pie dish and bake until the middle is set, about 1 hour.

6. Carefully remove the pie from the oven and let cool completely before serving.

Makes one 9"pie

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