Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake makes fine summer treat

Request: Reader recalls "the most delicious cheesecake" family ever ate.

July 21, 1999|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,Sun Staff

The Kozay family of Clifton, N.J., requested help in finding a recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake. Paul Kozay said the family lost the recipe for the cake, which had a toasted hazelnut crust and a light-cream-cheese-and-ricotta-cheese filling. "We decided to write to you hoping you may be able to get us a copy of the most delicious cheesecake we have ever eaten," he wrote.

In response, Mary R. Lhotsky of Middle River sent in a recipe from Women's Day magazine that appeared on Nov. 17, 1998.

Pumpkin swirl Cheesecake

Serves 12-16

CRUST:

8 whole graham crackers

1/2 cup whole hazelnuts, toasted

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter or margarine, cut up

FILLING:

2 (8-ounce) packages reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

2 large eggs plus whites from 2 large eggs

3/4 cup white chocolate chips

1 (15-ounce) can solid-packed pumpkin (not pumpkin-pie mix)

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat an 8-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Wrap foil over the bottom and halfway up the outside of springform pan to keep butter in crust from dripping out.

Break crackers into food processor. Add hazelnuts, sugar and butter. Process until fine crumbs form. Press firmly over bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of prepared pan.

Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with mixer on high speed until smooth. On low speed, beat in sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and sour cream, scraping down sides of bowl often, until well blended. Add eggs and egg whites; beat just until mixed.

Melt the chocolate chips according to the package directions. Add 1 1/2 cups of cheese mixture and stir until well blended.

Stir pumpkin and spices into remaining cheese mixture until well blended. Reserve 1/4 cup; pour rest into crust.

Pour the chocolate mixture onto pumpkin batter in a thick ring about 1/2 inch from sides of pan. Top with dollops of reserved 1/4 cup pumpkin batter. Run a knife through both batters for a marble effect. (Don't overdo or the effect will be muddied.)

Bake 1 hour 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted 2 inches from center of cake comes out clean. Carefully run a knife around inside edge of pan to release cake.

Cool cake in pan on a wire rack, then cover and refrigerate in pan at least 4 hours and up to 1 week. Or wrap airtight and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator 2 days before serving. To serve, remove pan sides. Place cake on serving plate and garnish.

Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "This is a delicious cheesecake, perfect for around the holidays, but certainly light enough to serve during the summer, too. The swirling effect is somewhat difficult to achieve since the white chocolate batter is a bit thin and spreads out across the whole top of the pumpkin layer.

"Once the dollops of reserved pumpkin batter have been added on top, drag a large knife in S-shaped swirls through the cake. Still, the finished cheesecake may have a more pronounced white layer on top of its orange layer."

Recipe requests

* Maury and Ella Parks of Parkville enjoyed a meal at the Mango Tree in Cocoa Beach, Fla., and fell in love with the house salad dressing. "The dressing had a hint of curry, lemon juice and was a light texture. We would appreciate help in finding this sauce," they wrote.

* Sue Williams of Bel Air is seeking a Maraschino Cherry Nut Cake recipe that has cherries and cherry juice in it. "My mother made this cake for my birthdays in the '40s and '50s, and I have lost her old recipes and would like to find a copy of this."

* Judy Floam of Baldwin is seeking a recipe for Greek salad that is made in restaurants.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278. If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.

Pub Date: 07/21/99

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