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Recipe: Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Tart

Flickr user, EvinDC (CC BY 2.0)
Pumpkin swirl cheesecake (without pastry shell)

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Tart

You’ll need to make this tart a day or two ahead. The pastry needs a stint in the refrigerator before being rolled out, chilled, and baked. The filling goes into the baked shell and is baked for almost an hour and cooled partially in the turned off oven. The tart needs at least 6 hours in the refrigerator to set up properly.Tart Pastry

*1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (cups scooped into the
flour and leveled; 6 1/4 ounces)
*1/4 cup cake flour (1 ounce)
*1 tablespoon sugar
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into
tablespoon-size pieces
*1/4 cup ice water, plus more if needed

1. Adjust an oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven
to 400 degrees F. To make the pastry in a food processor, place both flours, sugar, salt, and the butter into the work bowl fitted with the metal blade. Pulse 4 or 5 times to chop the butter into smaller pieces. While pulsing rapidly, add the ice water through the feed tube, and keep pulsing 20 to 30 times, until the dough forms largish pieces and almost gathers into a ball. Remove the dough from the work bowl, transfer it to a sheet of plastic wrap, press it into a 1-inch-thick disk, and wrap and refrigerate about 1 hour. (Can be made up to 2 days ahead).

2. If making the dough by hand, make it the usual way but cutting the butter into the dry ingredients until the fat resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle in the ice water while tossing with a fork, and stir until dough gathers into a mass. Add more water by droplets if dough seems too dry. Shape and wrap as described above.

3. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 13-inch circle.
Fold the circle of dough in half, then in half again, and place the point of the folded dough in the center of a 9- or 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Carefully unfold the dough and fit it into the pan by nudging it gently into the pan without stretching it. Trim the excess pastry to a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold the overhanging dough into the pan and press it firmly against the sides to form a double thickness of pastry. Then press the sides of the pastry so that it extends 1/4-inch above the rim. Refrigerate one hour.

4. The shell must be baked before filling. Adjust an oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the chilled shell with a square of aluminum foil, pressing the foil gently over the bottom and sides. Fill the shell with dried beans. Set the shell on a baking sheet and bake 20 minutes, or until edges of pastry begin to turn a golden brown. Remove shell from the oven and carefully lift out the foil and beans. Prick pastry bottom evenly with a fork and return the shell to the oven until it is golden brown and baked through, 15 to 20 minutes more. Check often to make sure pastry isn’t puffing up. If it is, prick it gently with a toothpick. Cool completely on a wire rack before filling.


*1 pound Neufchatel cream cheese (1/3 less fat)
*3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*3 large eggs
*2/3 cup canned solid pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
*1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Whipped Cream Topping

*1 cup heavy cream
*1 tablespoon dark or light rum
*2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
*Ground cinnamon, for dusting

1. Prepare the tart shell and set it aside.

2. Adjust an oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven
to 300 degrees.

5. In a medium bowl, with a hand-held electric mixer, beat the
cream cheese until very smooth. Add 1/2 cup of the sweetened
condensed milk and beat until smooth. Stop to scrape the side of
the bowl as necessary. Add the salt, vanilla, and 2 of the eggs and
beat only until the eggs are incorporated. Measure 1/2 cup of this
batter to combine with the pumpkin in the next step, and leave the
rest in the bowl for now.

6. In a small bowl, whisk together until smooth the solid pack
pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, the remaining 1/4 cup
sweetened condensed milk, the remaining egg, and 1/2 cup of the
cream cheese batter from above. Pour the pumpkin batter over
the cream cheese batter remaining in the bowl, and fold them
together with only 2 or 3 strokes (no more!) of a rubber spatula.
Turn the mixture into the prepared tart shell and smooth the top;
the shell will be full. Bake for 50 minutes. Turn the oven off and
leave the tart in the oven another 45 minutes with the door closed.
The top of the tart may have a few cracks, which is okay. Remove
the tart from the oven and cool to room temperature on a wire
rack; then refrigerate for 6 hours or longer. To serve, remove the
cheesecake tart from the pan, and prepare the topping.

7. Whip the cream, rum, and confectioners' sugar together with a
hand-held electric mixer until nice and thick. The cream should
hold a firm shape. Spread it over the pumpkin layer, and dust the
top with cinnamon. To serve, rinse a sharp knife in hot water and
shake off the excess water before making each cut. Refrigerate

Makes 8 servings.

By Greg Patent © Copyright 2015 Adapted from his cookbook “Baking in America.” 

(Broadcast: "The Food Guys," 11/22/15 and 11/26/15. Listen weekly on the radio at 11:50 a.m. Sundays and again at 4:54 p.m. Thursdays, or via podcast.)

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