Ah, Thanksgiving. Yes people, this two country couple enjoyed Canada's version yesterday and we've the leftovers to prove it. Thank goodness for that too because it means the kitchen will be mostly dark today because there's no need to cook. Sounds like a vacation doesn't it?
Since we enjoyed the usual turkey, stuffing, gravy, veggie kind of meal I won't bore you with the details but I do want to share this rather lovely pie substitute we had for dessert. Snitched from Sunset magazine via myrecipes.com, it marries the somewhat unusal flavors of pumpkin and orange zest with a chocolate crust and real caramel topping.
It is rich and creamy, not overly sweet, surprisingly light and the chocolate crust and zesty orange flavor really come through. Bonus - I actually made it on Friday and served it yesterday (Sunday) which made it a hostess' dream never mind it gave the flavors a chance to mellow. It's awesome and I've no hesitation in saying it deserves a second act for our next Thanksgiving production coming up at the end of November.
Incidentally, while the recipe calls for chocolate wafer cookies for some reason they're a little hard to find around here so I used regular graham cracker crumbs along with a few tablespoons of extra dark cocoa. I also used a combination of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and allspice instead of pumpkin pie spice but that's just because I'm ornery and I also forgot to sprinkle the coarse sea salt on the caramel that I scratch made but nobody missed what they hadn't tried before anyway. Give it a try and I think you'll agree - it's a real keeper!
Caramel Pumpkin Orange Cheesecake from JBug’s Kitchen Antics adapted from myrecipes.com
1 cup graham wafer crumbs
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup melted butter
Preheat oven to 350. Combine wafer crumbs, cocoa powder and melted butter together until well mixed. Place crumbs into an 8 or 9 inch pan with a removable bottom and press evenly on bottom and up sides of pan. Bake 7 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Lower oven to 300.
3 – 8 ounce packages cream cheese (room temperature)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 -1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
4 eggs (room temperature)
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup maple syrup
Zest of 2 oranges
Chopped pecans for garnish
Coarse Sea Salt for garnish
Whip cream cheese until light. Add sugars, flour and spices and beat until smooth. Beat in eggs 1 at a time at low speed. Add pumpkin, cream, sour cream, maple syrup and orange zest. Mix just until combined. Pour onto cooled crust and level top with a spatula. Bake for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours until cheesecake is done and has just a slight movement in the center. Remove from oven to a wire rack and using a sharp knife run it around the edge of the cheesecake to prevent cake from cracking as it cools. Cool for at least 1 hour and then cover and refrigerate overnight.
To serve, remove cake from pan and coat sides with chopped pecans. Pour approximately 2/3 cup of caramel over cake. Cut into slices and serve garnished with a sprinkle of coarse sea salt.
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1-1/4 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a large saucepan with a heavy bottom heat sugar and water over low heat until sugar dissolves. Do not stir! Increase heat to medium high and boil until mixture is a medium amber color, washing down sides of pot from time to time with a pastry brush dipped in water. Watch mixture carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn. When of desired color, remove from heat and slowly add cream. Mixture will bubble vigorously so be careful. Return to heat and cook stirring constantly for 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Cool and refrigerator until serving. Reheat briefly to a pourable consistency.
A year ago - Pork and Apple Pie in a Bowl
Two year's ago - Old Settler Beans
Three year's ago - Baked Haddock with Onion and Bacon Crust