It’s hard to plan a Thanksgiving dinner for three people. I’m used to spending this holiday with extended family, but this year we’re staying home. This means we’ll miss out on the festivities and the food the comes along with that. Not that it won’t be good for our muffin-tops. Last year my family had at least twenty-five different pies at Thanksgiving. Obviously we don’t communicate very well.
This year we put in our votes. Pumpkin pie for my room mate, cheesecake for me and brownies for my husband. That’s a lot of dessert. As a compromise, I decided to combine everything into one recipe and save us some dishes. This gamble paid off! You should give it a try.
Graham Cracker Crust
Mix the following ingredients and lay in the bottom of a large baking dish. I used an 11 x 17 inch square pan.
2 cups of Graham Cracker crumbs
6 T unsalted butter
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove it from the oven and sprinkle it with:
3 ounces of bittersweet chocolate (61 % cacao), chopped or finely grated
Return it to the oven and bake it for another minute until the chocolate melts onto the graham cracker crust. I made the mistake of using chocolate chips the first time I made this recipe. As you can see, they didn’t melt properly. Next time I will finely grate a chocolate bar instead. Once the chocolate melts, remove the pan from the oven and let it cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
Chocolate Pumpkin Filling
While the crust is cooling, get started on the next layer.
Heat a large, preferably shallow, pot of water on the stove. Put the following ingredients in a smaller metal heat-proof bowland float it in the pot of water:
6 ounces semisweet chocolate (61% cacao), chopped fine
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Cover the pot with a lid and heat on medium until melted. Stir until the mixture is creamy.
Meanwhile combine the following ingredients in a medium size bowl:
15 ounces of pure 100% pumpkin puree
12 ounces evaporated milk
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons apple pie spice (if you don’t have apple pie spice, replace with 3/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon cloves)
Mix everything and whisk in the melted butter-chocolate mixture.
Pour the mixture into the cooled graham cracker crust and bake for 55-60 minutes at 325 degrees. Bake until the mixture sets up. It will be jiggly but not runny. Let it cool. (If you need a good cooling rack, I recommend CoolingBake’s Stainless Steel 12 x 17 inch rack. It comes with a FREE Recipe eBook!)
While it is cooling, prepare the cheesecake mixture.
2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese
1 cup of sugar
1 pint of sour cream
zest of one lemon
1 dash vanilla
Put the cream cheese in a mixer, and whisk it until it is creamy and lump free. Add eggs, sugar, sour cream, lemon zest and vanilla.
When its all thoroughly mixed, pour it on top of the cooling chocolate pumpkin layer. Put the pan back in the oven and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes at 325 degrees until the cheesecake is solidified. It will jiggle but shouldn’t be runny. Avoid overcooking.
Remove from oven and cool. When it’s completely cool, put in the refrigerator and chill overnight. Top with graham cracker crumbs and chocolate syrup.
Serve cold. Makes a large number of servings. I took my first batch to a potluck at work and it didn’t last long!