Monday, November 12, 2012

Frozen pumpkin cheesecake

For once my family has actually gotten a jump on Thanksgiving. Typically the day before Thanksgiving is a mad rush to find recipes, buy ingredients, and menu plan, which is probably why every year we end up with enough food to feed a small country. We always get carried away with the appetizers and then by the time we sit down, at 8:30 mind you, no one is really all that hungry. This year we had a pre-Thanksgiving conference several weeks ago and drew up a menu. We limited it to three appetizers, classic dishes, two extra sides, and three desserts. All of this careful planning is held together by one golden rule "No changes without substitution" i.e. no adding dishes at the last minute. Luckily, this recipe made the cut.

A few months ago my aunt made an awesome mocha ice cream pie and when I saw pumpkin ice cream in the grocery store I figured I could replicate it with a different flavor profile and a few tweaks. Her recipe called for marshmallow fluff originally but freezing the pie caused little chunks of fluff to turn into marshmallow  pebbles. So I decided to skip the fluff and opted for Cool Whip, it helps keep the pie light and creamy. The cream cheese mixed with the ice cream really does make this easy pie taste like cheesecake and the ginger snap crust is a nod to the Cheesecake Factory's pumpkin cheesecake. I'm really proud of this recipe and can't wait to serve it to my family, hopefully you'll do the same.

Frozen pumpkin cheesecake

Gingersnap crust
1 stick unsalted butter
2 cups gingersnap cookies

Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl.
Place cookies in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the you get a fine crumb.
Drizzle the melted butter into the food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand.
Press into a 9 inch spring form pan and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

1 quart sized tub of pumpkin ice cream (I used Eddy's)
1 tub of cool whip
1 8oz. block of cream cheese

Place the ice cream and cool whip on the counter to thaw until they are soft and pliable.
Place the cream cheese on a microwave safe plate and microwave for 1 minute. Place the cream cheese into a large bowl and stir until smooth. Whisk in the thawed cool whip until lump free. Then whisk in the ice cream.
Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and freeze for 4-6 hours.
To release the pie let it set on the counter for a minute or two and then run a thin knife around the edge. If you just try and spring the pan the pie will crack.
Top with fresh whipped cream, crumbled ginger snaps, and caramel sauce.

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