November 11, 2018

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

I don't care that Starbucks released their Pumpkin Spice Latte in August this year. First of all, it doesn't even have any pumpkin in it. Secondly, it is fall now. We should be enjoying pumpkin spice things now and not jumping right to Christmas things. I'm loving my scarves and sweaters and boots, not my giant parka and waterproof snow boots, so I think the same timing courtesies should extend to my diet as well. There's nothing that shouts November like a pumpkin pie, especially with Thanksgiving on the horizon, but I think people can get a little sick of the same old pumpkin pie year after year. That's why I took a classic recipe and 'spiced' it up with a few dollops of cheesecake filling, since cheesecake is just as much of a crowd-pleaser and makes things interesting without stealing the spotlight.

Most of the recipes I've seen for pumpkin cheesecake pie use a pumpkin-flavored cheesecake filling, sometimes no-bake which shouldn't even qualify as a cheesecake in my opinion. This recipe keeps your classic pumpkin pie base, with pumpkin puree sweetened with sweetened condensed milk plus eggs and warm fall spices. That infamous pumpkin spice comes from a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice, or you can go ahead and buy a jar of pumpkin pie spice and it will taste pretty similar.

The cheesecake swirl is also incredibly easy: just beat some cream cheese, sugar, a bit of flour, a bit of milk, and a splash of vanilla together until smooth. It helps to have the cream cheese at room temperature so it mixes in better and is more swirl-able in the liquidy pumpkin pie filling. If it's still too thick, you can add another splash of milk to thin it out. For more of a gingerbread flavor, you can also stir in more pumpkin pie spice and a spoonful of molasses. You'll sacrifice the contrast of the white cheesecake on orange pumpkin pie, but the darker color is also striking.

Another way to incorporate that gingerbread flavor is in the crust. I normally use my basic sweet pie crust recipe with plenty of butter, but you can switch it up and add the molasses and spices there so you get white cheesecake on orange pie on a dark crust. As always, keep your fat (or all the ingredients, if you can) cold and work the dough as little as possible for a tender, flaky crust.

Starting the oven at a high temperature sets the crust and makes the butter steam for extra flakiness, and then you have to lower it so the filling cooks through. You may need to cover the edges with some foil or one of those special crust shields (I highly recommend them, especially with all this holiday baking coming up!) to prevent burning, but you'll know it's done when the pie just barely jiggles in the center. If you're trying to fit this into your busy Thanksgiving to do list, you can make the crust a couple days in advance and bake the pie off the morning or afternoon you plan on serving it. It slices best if it has time to cool and set, so don't worry about moving the pie straight from the oven to the table. If you're looking for more pie inspiration to spice up your fall or brighten up your Thanksgiving table, you can also check out my chocolate fudge pecan piechocolate peanut butter piecinnamon crack pie, or tollhouse pie recipes.

1 Recipe Sweet Pie Crust Dough (see below)
1 14oz Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 Eggs
1 15oz Can Pumpkin
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Ginger
1/4 tsp Cloves
1/4 tsp Allspice
1/2 tsp + Pinch Salt
4 oz Cream Cheese, Softened
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 T Flour
1 T Milk
1 tsp Vanilla

Roll the pie dough out to fit a 9" pie plate and press gently to adhere. Chill until firm.

Heat oven to 425F.

Whisk the sweetened condensed milk and eggs together. Add the pumpkin, spices, and 1/2 tsp salt.

Beat the cream cheese, sugar, flour, milk, vanilla, and a pinch of salt together.

Pour the pumpkin mixture into the crust. Swirl in the cream cheese. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes, then lower oven to 350 and bake for 30 minutes more or until just set, covering the edges as necessary.

For the pie crust:
Pulse 1 1/4 C flour, 1/4 C sugar, and 1/4 tsp salt in a food processor until combined. Add 1 stick chilled and cubed butter and pulse until small pieces remain. Combine the an yolk with a tablespoon of cold water and add in. Pulse until it begins to form a ball, adding more water as necessary. Chill.

Makes 1 9" Pie
Recipe Adapted from

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