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Pumpkin Fever

October 20, 2009

Since recovering from Cat Scratch Fever, I have come down with a crazed illness of another kind.  Before moving to Asheville, summer was my favorite season.  These days once Bele Chere’s over, I start getting all jittery in anticipation of this moment, right now.  The biting air, pregnant with smoke from bungalow fireplaces, scenic mountain hikes with trees aflame, corn mazes and costumes and more reasons for kids to be cute, but especially, pumpkin flavored beverages and foods.  I ordered my first pumpkin spiced latte from an airport a couple of weeks ago, and the toasty, festive, creamy warmth of it brightened my entire trip.   And now it’s official:  I’m cuckoo for pumpkin flavor.

A few nights ago, I had some folks over for pumpkin carving.  I provided spiced hot cider, pumpkin beer, chili, apples with caramel, pumpkin bars, and the crowning dish, my first attempt at pumpkin cheesecake.

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The recipe I used is an amalgamation of Moosewood’s basic cheesecake recipe and Paula Deen’s pumpkin cheesecake recipe.  Looking at the two juxtaposed, it kind of feels like Mollie Katken wants you to live a long, sad life, while Paula Deen is trying to kill you, giggling devilishly as you go. 

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What I call Pumpkin Bars were actually called Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies on the Libby’s website, but that is not the proper term for these desserts.  They are kind of the consistency of brownies, but redolent of pumpkin with a handful of chocolate chips thrown in for contrast.   Don’t get me wrong, they’re delicious, I’m just sayin’ don’t tell me I’m getting a brownie and feed me something orange. 

Pumpkin Cheesecake


  • 2 cups crushed graham crackers
  • 1/2 stick of melted butter
  • 2 tspns cinnamon

In a bowl, mix ingredients with a spoon and then pour into a 9 inch springform pie pan, press down with hands.  Then, with an electric mixer, mix together the following ingredients for the filling:

  • 3 pckgs cream cheese
  • 1 can pumpkin (don’t know the fresh equivalent, 2 cups maybe?)
  • 1/2 a lemon, plus 1.5 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg (or 1/4 tsp if you like more)
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves (or 1/4 tsp if you like more)
  • 2 tblsn all purpose white flour
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract

Once this is all blended, pour on top of graham cracker crust and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.  Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes.   Chill in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours. 

You can find the pumpkin bars recipe on my link to the Libby’s website. 

Does anyone have any other great pumpkin ideas, sweet or savory?  Post them here so we can eat until we turn a pleasant shade of orangy-yellow.  Mmmmm.

Oh, and my verdict on the BEST PUMPKIN ICE CREAM IN ASHEVILLE is Ultimate ice cream’s version of the cult favorite.   I’ll take their’s over The Hop’s any day.   You only have 24 hours to try it over at West Asheville’s Two Spoons.  They close tomorrow for the winter season and won’t reopen until March.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Kandra permalink
    October 20, 2009 11:11 am

    OMG, this looks amazing! What a gorgeous table too. Last year I was a big fan of pumpkin muffins from, I need to unearth that recipe.

  2. thedj permalink
    October 20, 2009 11:58 am

    Looks tasty GG. Gotta love the spring form pan.

  3. Mariya permalink
    October 20, 2009 3:14 pm

    gross. I despise pumpkin flavored things, except the pie. Kandra’s muffins were good too, but only because they didn’t have a strong pumpkin flavor. Keep the great posts coming, though. Your prose flows.

  4. October 21, 2009 3:56 pm

    I love pumpkin cheesecake. I have my ultra top secret recipe though. I made a couple the other week with caramelized pecans on top. A shot of Frangelica to the recipe is tasty also.

    I am not a fan of canned pumpkin, but 1 15oz can is almost two cups.

    Great post. I love pumpkin time of the year. I have pumpkin bran muffins in the oven right now.


  5. October 21, 2009 6:10 pm

    Yay Petulant! Thanks for your comment. Wow, caramelized pecans, frangelica and real pumpkin. Is this what the world is like for non-lazy people?

    • October 21, 2009 9:10 pm

      Last year, my mama brought me a 70lb pumpkin. Normally pumpkins that size are woody and not worth the time. I spent an afternoon cutting that thing and roasting in the oven. It was the sweetest pumpkin I have ever tasted and completely surprised me. I forget what variety. I sealed about three gallons of pureed pumpkin. I used some smaller pumpkins for this year, but still have a gallon in the freezer ready to go.

      To answer your question, some of us just like making everything from scratch. It doesn’t make ya lazy or non-lazy, just whatever works. If ya have the time, go for it. You seem to be doing okay. 🙂

      I might try those pumpkin bars once I finish all these muffins.


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