BAKING WITH OZ
DOUBLE LAYER PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE
2 packages Philadelphia cream cheese (8 oz each)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
dash each ground cloves and nutmeg
1 ready to use graham cracker crust (9 inches)
Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on med speed till blended.
Soften cream cheese in micro first!
Add eggs, mix till blended.
In a separate bowl, mix pumpkin and spices, then add to the pumpkin and spices, 1 cup of the cream cheese batter.
Pour the remaining cream cheese batter into crust.
Top with pumpkin batter.
Bake at 350F for 40min or until center is almost set, refrigerate for three hrs, or overnight!
The recipe above was given to me by my friend, Jackie. Looks simple enough, right? Not if I have anything to do with it! The end result of my attempt at this recipe looked nothing at all like the image above! It all goes to show that short cuts do not necessarily save time.
I got it into my head to try out this recipe one day and this is what transpired…
TIME: Approx 8 hours 40 mins.
3.00 pm Went to supermarket to buy pumpkin puree (in a can)
3.30 — Realized Aussies are not into canned pumpkin puree, gave up search.
3.32 — Picked a quarter cut of fresh pumpkin from the vegies section.
3.35 — Peered into every row of freezers in supermarket looking for prepared cheesecake crust.
3.45 — Settled for ready-to-bake sweet short crust pastry shell in tin foil pie “dish”
3.50 — Bought cheap glow-in-the-dark bugs to reward grandson for his patience.
3.51 — Hubby openly drooling at the thought of resulting dessert and bought whipping cream.
3.52 — Stopped in the middle of one aisle and tried to visualize the recipe to check on other ingredients required, failed miserably. Gave up.
3.55 — Did a hasty lap of the aisles and called myself some not very nice names for not studying recipe beforehand.
4.03 — At the (over 15 items) checkout as had also purchased various unrelated items.
4.20 — Arrived home, tired and a tad cranky.
4.25 — Logged on the ‘net to find email with recipe and printed out a copy.
4.26 — Did quick inventory of pantry contents, found other ingredients required.
4.30 — Returned to my computer with a satisfied smirk on face, got involved in a chat.
I N T E R V A L [During this time I chatted in an IM with my good friend (Angel), cooked dinner, consumed dinner, showered, watched tv, chatted some more with Angel…]
10.30 — Remembered decision to make the cheesecake, hurried into kitchen, properly attired in nightshirt and dressing-gown.
10.31 — Grabbed and studied recipe, decided to halve ingredients as pie shell was a wee one.
10.33 — Cut pumpkin up, a rough guesstimate for 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree.
10.35 — Started boiling pumpkin, with a little water.
10.36 — Half emptied pantry shelf to get to electric mixer tucked way at the back of shelf.
10.38 — Shoved displaced contents back onto pantry shelf in one swoop… well, two, perhaps.
10.39 — Aroma of burning pumpkin wafted to nostrils. Said the “F” word – once. Snatched saucepan from heat (had accidentally left steam vent open on saucepan lid. Doh!), tip contents onto cutting board, wash burnt bits off bottom of saucepan.
10.42 — Trimmed burnt bits off pumpkin pieces.
10.43 — Re-boiled pumpkin pieces as parts weren’t cooked through.
10.44 — Fiddled around, trying to get multi-mixer to work.
10.46 — Pre-heated conventional oven, softened cream cheese in microwave oven.
10.47 — Gathered remaining ingredients, measured appropriate amount – yep, everything halved.
10.50 — Plonked block of cream cheese into mixer, turned switch on, added sugar.. so far, so good.
10.51 — Pumpkin surely cooked through by now, turned off heat.
10.52 — Fished pumpkin out of water, mashed with fork – bit ‘watery’ but okay.
10.53 — Hurried back to study contents of mixer, re-read recipe, “Add 2 eggs” (Yes, halved = 1 egg). To save precious time, left mixer motor running, broke egg on edge of mixing bowl and…
10.53.30 — Brain zapped! Froze on the spot, listening to egg shell being pulverized by mixer blades when the whole blooming egg fell into the mixture!
10.54 — Hit the ‘Off’ button on mixer. Said the “F” word – for the second time!
10.54.10 — Silent contemplation of next step… Decisions, decisions —
a) throw mess away and give up
b) throw mess away and start again or
c) persevere and go into damage control.
10.55 — Rolled up sleeves of dressing gown, started fishing for crushed egg shell in the ‘batter’.
11.06 — Satisfied with damage control MO (modus operandi) – continued with mixing process.
11.07 — Re-studied recipe, following instructions accordingly.
11.10 — Poured mixture into pie shell, etc. etc. etc….
11.12 — Disappointed at amount of filling in pie shell, barely half in depth. Sighed.
11.15 — Popped the sorry-looking cheesecake pie creation into oven, set timer.
11.16 — Looked around at the mess on bench-top, in kitchen sinks and floor. Big sigh.
11.17 — Cleaned up hastily and washed up all used utensils (plenty were used).
11.27 — Back to the computer to take over IM chat from hubby.
11.40 — Pie done, looked edible (sort of) and smelt delicious.
11.41 — Re-named masterpiece as Baked Pumpkin Cheesecake Mit Bum Nuts!
Mission accomplished, kind of…
Next time, I’ll do it the hard way!
Don’t know which was worse – this baking episode or the time I decided to try my hand at roasting chestnuts – but that is another saga…