Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake

, from Issue #60. July, 2015
Photography by Sarah Tuck.
Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake

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. Just keep it somewhere cool and out of the fridge so that you don’t have any moisture on top.


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
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon salt 
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons custard powder
4 large eggs

23cm cake tin with removable base, base and sides lined with baking paper.


Preheat oven to 180°C.

Line a roasting dish with baking paper. Place the chunks of pumpkin in the dish, drizzle with the 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. 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 five minutes, then add the cream cheese, sugar, spices, salt, 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 it still has a bit of wobble in the middle. Allow to cool in the oven for at least two hours before removing. 
Cool further on the bench then place in the fridge to cool completely. 

To serve: Remove from the fridge half an hour before serving. Serve on its own or with bourbon-spiked whipped cream.