Pumpkin cheesecake with pistachio

It was around the beginning of the 1990s when cheesecakes started to gain popularity in Greece through the “kit desserts” innovation of semi-ready birthday cakes and the rest provided by an iconic greek food company. I remember that before cheesecakes become finally accepted, loved and sought after -like everything at this era that was made in USA- their salty feeling had baffled the ottoman uraniscus of a lot of aunties of mine. Of course, there has been a storm of changes in our national gastronomic preferences since then so that today, November’s 12th of 2018, we proudly propose to you this amazing recipe with the sweet taste of pumpkin and the umami of pistachio.

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Ingredients

For the base 
  • 200 g digestive biscuits (smashed)
  • ¼ of a cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 80 g butter (melted)
For the cream
  • 800 g cream cheese at room temperature
  • 200 g sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 300 g of pumpkin (cut into cubes)
  • 100 g pistachios
  • 20 ml sunflower oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ of a teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ of a teaspoon ground cloves

Instructions

For the base 
  • Place the rack in the centre of the oven and pre-heat to 180° C.
  • Put the biscuits, the sugar and the cinnamon in the blender.
  • Blend till biscuits are finely ground.
  • On top of the ground biscuits, pour the butter and blend on/off till crumbs become one.
  • Transfer the mix in a springform pan or a round pastry ring and press it with your fingers into its bottom.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes, till it gets golden brown.
  • Transfer to the kitchen counter and allow to cool at room temperature.
For the filling
  • In a bowl, mix the sunflower oil with the pumpkin.
  • Place the pumpkin cubes in a pan and allow them to bake for 30 minutes at 180° C.
  • They have to be soft but not burnt in their edges.
  • Transfer the baked pumpkin in a blender and blend till it gets mashed.
  • Using a mixer, mix in a large bowl the cream cheese with the sugar till it gets smooth and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one by one.
  • Add the pumpkin to the rest of the ingredients.
  • Mix till every ingredient is incorporated.
  • Add the pistachio and blend with a rubber spatula.
  • Transfer the mix to the base you have already prepared.
  • Put the pan in the oven and bake the cheesecake for about 1 ½ hour, till it gets golden brown.
  • Transfer the pan to the kitchen counter and allow to cool at room temperature.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the pan, slice into bars and serve.

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