Happy Thanksgiving! Like I said before, I opted not to make dinner this year, but I volunteered to bring dessert to Patrick's family gathering. I brought pumpkin cheesecake and apple-persimmon pie with cinnamon ice cream.
The cheesecake was Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake. There were only five of us attending Thanksgiving dinner this year, so I halved the cheesecake recipe and made it in a 6" springform pan (we had a hard time finding one on short notice, but County Restaurant Supply in San Carlos had one left in inventory, and Patrick went and got it for me). My backup plan, if we hadn't been able to find a 6" pan, was to make two 4.5" cakes (both Crate and Barrel and Williams-Sonoma sell springform pans in this size, and we picked up two, just in case). I'm happy with the 6" size. It's 6-8 servings, which is just right for most family gatherings, especially since cheesecake is rich, and there are usually multiple desserts to eat.
There was a little extra crust and filling leftover, so I made two mini cheesecakes in ramekins. The mini cheesecakes needed about 30 minutes to bake (less time might have been better; they were a little dry). I baked the 6" cake for 45 minutes. I wasn't quite sure how to tell when it was done, so I went with the scientific approach and took it out when it reached 150F. Its texture turned out just right--phew! Luckily, the sour cream topping concealed all of my poke marks.
The cheesecake turned out well, though it wasn't quite perfect. The filling didn't taste like the pumpkin cheesecake of my dreams--too cream cheesy; not enough pumpkin flavor. However, the crust (a mix of graham cracker crumbs, butter, brown sugar, and pecans) was very good. Yum!
The cinnamon ice cream was another recipe from The Perfect Scoop. The cinnamon flavor was pretty mild. It was yummy, being homemade ice cream and all, but I think I slightly prefer vanilla bean ice cream as a pie accompaniment.
Once again, I used the Damn Fine Apple Pie recipe for the pie, but I made a few changes. For the filling, I used 3 Summerfield apples, 4 Pippins, and 2 Fuyu persimmons. I got the idea of adding persimmons from Shuna's pie dough class. I couldn't really taste them though; I'm not sure if they added much value. I'll probably go back to straight apple pie next time.
I used Shuna's all-butter pie dough recipe for the crust, and it turned out well. I made pie crust cookies with the scraps. I sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar, cut them into strips, rolled them up, then baked them at 350F for about 15 minutes. Not bad...
Now we're going to watch Die Hard (Patrick's favorite Christmas movie) and eat a little more pie. I hope you had a good Thanksgiving!