Y’all. Christina hates boiled peanuts.
Just wanted to throw that out there.
I made this cheesecake pie for Thanksgiving with my in-laws. When I was going through the options of what to take and got to this pie, Matt stopped me and asked why I’d even looked any further. And really, he had a pretty good point. I purchased all my ingredients early last week, and it wasn’t until Mammy looked at the recipe and declared it “a bit difficult for (me)” that I got a little leery of a cheesecake. Of course, when I asked her what, in the recipe, gave her pause, she responded with, “I quit reading because it sounded too complicated.” Helpful.
In all actuality, while it looks complicated, it is really not. And it is just an amazing pie. You should make it, maybe even this weekend?
A few notes before we begin:
I really thought 2 cups of crushed gingersnaps was too many. Some of this is likely my newness at making crusts and the fact that I didn’t thin it out enough against the pie plate. Christina has since told me that using a flat measuring cup to thin the crumbles against the sides would help me immensely. As you can see, I had way too much filling for my pie but I just scooped some out and made a little mini-ramekin cheesecake as a pre-Thanksgiving treat. I didn’t get much argument from Matt on that.
The original recipe calls for salted caramel to go on top of the pie. There was no way in H-E-L-L I was making caramel sauce, when Trader Joe’s makes a delightful salted caramel sauce in a jar. All that said, I didn’t think the cheesecake needed the caramel at all — and I love me some caramel sauce, so it’s not like I’m wishy-washy on the flavor. I’ve left it out of the recipe below.
I did not use my food processor, as suggested, and instead opted for the rolling pin/Ziploc method. Gingersnap cookies are HARD y’all. I would go for the food processor next time.
Who owns a tea kettle? I just boiled water in a stock pot and carefully poured it into the 9×13.
Please forgive a lack of tasty looking photos of this pie: was at my in-laws, in a hurry, family wanted pie.
minimally adapted from Joy the Baker
For the Crust:
2 cups ginger snap cookie crumbs
2 tablespoons brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
For the Cheesecake:
1 pound (2 blocks) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
Place two rack in the upper and bottom third of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. You’ll need a 9-inch pie plate and a 9×13-inch pan for boiling water.
To make the crust, place cookies in the bowl of a food processor and grind to a fine crumb. If you don’t have a food processor you can crumble cookies in a zip lock bag with a rolling pin. Once you’ve created a fine crumb, add brown sugar, salt, and butter. Toss together, moistening all of the ginger snap crumbs. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch pie plate and press with fingers until sides and bottom are evenly coated with crust.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool while you make the cheesecake filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Place a tea kettle of water on the stove top to boil. We’re going to add hot water to the 9×13-inch pan to place under the baking cheesecake.
To make the cheesecake filling: In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together cream cheese and granulated sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in salt and vanilla extract until well incorporated. Add eggs, beating one at a time between each addition. Once creamy and smooth, slowly beat in the cream, beating on medium high until creamy and luscious. Add lemon zest if using.
Pour cheesecake mixture into the prepared cheesecake crust.
Place 9×13-inch pan in the bottom shelf of the hot oven. Carefully pout in hot water, and fill to 1/2 full. Push into oven.
Place cheesecake on the upper oven shelf. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until cheesecake is browned and puffed. When cheesecake is puffed and doesn’t have loose giggle in the center, turn oven off and use a towel to prop the oven open slightly. Let cheesecake rest for another 45 minutes in the cooling oven. Remove from the oven and cool completely, for at least 4 hours. Overnight is best.
WARNING: You will want to eat the cheesecake filling directly from the mixing bowl. I completely condone this and recommend you do so. Try it with a leftover gingersnap, too. You will thank me.
Mammy was wrong, but I’m not going to be the one to tell her…