One of my favourite flavour discoveries from trips to the States is this rich combination of sweet, spiced pumpkin – totally delicious and addictive! As a bonus, it keeps beautifully for a day or two when made in advance.
750 grams peeled, de-seeded pumpkin, cut into 6cm chunks
2 tablespoons maple syrup
250 grams gingernuts or similar biscuits
45 grams melted butter
875 grams cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups caster sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon each ground nutmeg, ground cloves and ground allspice
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons custard powder
4 large eggs
Equipment: Grease a 23cm cake tin with a removable base and line the base and sides with baking paper.
Preheat oven to 180°C regular bake.
Line a roasting dish with baking paper. Place the chunks of pumpkin in the dish, drizzle with the first measure of maple syrup, then cover with tinfoil. Bake for 45 minutes, or until easily pierced with a knife. Cut the pumpkin into smaller pieces to cool.
Blend the gingernuts in a food processor. Add the butter and blend again until smooth crumbs form. Tip into the lined baking tin and press down with your fingertips, then smooth out with the back of a tablespoon. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Reduce the oven to 150°C. Place the cooled pumpkin pieces in a food processor and blend until smooth.
Allow pumpkin to cool for a further 5 minutes, then add the cream cheese, sugar, spices, salt, second measure of maple syrup and custard powder and blend again until smooth. Add the eggs and pulse briefly to combine, then pour onto the base.
Tap the tin on the bench to pop any air bubbles, then bake for 1 hour, or until the cheesecake still has a bit of wobble in the middle. Allow to cool in the oven for at least 2 hours before removing.
TO SERVE: Remove from the fridge half an hour before serving.