Last year, I had a piece of pumpkin cheesecake for the first time, and it was delicious! It got me thinking, if butternut squash pie is so good, I bet I could make a fabulous butternut squash cheesecake! I searched and found a bunch of pumpkin cheesecake recipes, then modified them, added a ginger snap crust instead of a graham cracker crust, and added extra spice. There was a lot of discussion about how to keep the cheesecake from cracking. My reaction: Get over it! It will taste good if it cracks anyway, so stop stressing. My mom’s famous, delicious cheesecake that she makes for every holiday always cracks, but she tops it with cherries, blueberries or raspberries and everyone loves it.
The only drawback that I see to this recipe is that you have to use a food processor to crush the cookies (although you could do that in a big plastic bag with a rolling pin) and puree the squash, and then use the stand mixer to make the filling. But for something that I’ll only make once or twice a year, I guess the energy is worth it.
Butternut Squash Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust
For the crust
- 1 1/2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (use the food processor to make them)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 4 Tbsp melted butter
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, then press into the bottom of a 9″ spring-form pan. Bake 10-12 minutes.
For the filling
- 4 packages cream cheese (8 oz.), room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 1 cup butternut squash puree (if you want, substitute with pumpkin or any other winter squash)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
Beat cream cheese and sugar on low speed in a stand mixer until smooth. Blend in flour. Add squash, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salt and beat until smooth. Add eggs one at a time. Pour into crust and smooth out the top. Reduce heat to 300°F and bake 60 minutes. Turn off the oven and let cool for 1 hour in the oven. Then transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 4 hours. To serve, remove the sides from the pan, slice and garnish with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.