No day makes the blood beat in my brain as much as Thanksgiving does. It’s the pressure. Your grandma’s stuffing for mom, asparagus for Auntie, peas for Uncle Tod, creamed corn for your husband, and apple pie for your friend’s friend. For three days you cook, skip showers, play hookie from work and chew mint gum, believing it’s the same as brushing your teeth. And once you create a spread that would make even Martha drool, you find that looking at it makes your stomach turn. You’ve lost your appetite. Your kitchen is trashed, you begin to realize that your sweater dress might be shorter than you thought, your mom is starting to get snippety with your in-laws….you feel like a caged pit bull. What’s happening? And now you are supposed to be grateful and give thanks to the chaos erupting around you? Ah!
However stressful thanksgiving can be, it is an amazing opportunity to hurtle over our baggage with grace. Honor your family’s traditions but promise yourself you’ll create some new ones along the way. Who knows. Perhaps everyone else is getting bored with Pepperidge Farm stuffing as well. Look deep into their eyes. See how much they want to be surprised? Hey, maybe hamburgers make you and your family say “thank you Lord” more than any other dish.
Or maybe you never want to look at that Pecan Pie recipe again because the ingredients give you nightmares. So let me seduce you with this Pumpkin Mascarpone Cheesecake. It will cause Shirley to blush, Lucy’s knees to go week, Uncle Bob to finally propose to his lady friend, Timmy to stop kicking Tommy under the table and you to be grateful that you pulled it off without your Mum freaking.
Mascarpone Cheesecake adapted from Streaming Gourmet
Makes a 9 inch circle of Bliss.
2 Cups crushed Graham Crackers
3 Tablespoons Melted Butter
1 Egg White
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Either pulverize your Graham Crackers in a food processor, or smash them with your hands (my favorite!). Mix your sugar and cinnamon into the crumbs. Add your melted butter and evenly incorporate. Now mix in your egg white.
Spray a 9 inch spring form pan with canola oil. Line the bottom with a piece of parchment cut to fit. Spray that once again with oil. Press your crust into the bottom. Bake for about 8 minutes. You are just trying to bake the crust most of the way so that the cheesecake doesn’t leak through the bottom, so don’t stress out just yet. Save that for Thursday.
Allow crust to cool for a bit.
1 & 1/2 Pounds Room Temperature Cream Cheese
1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
1 & 3/4 Cup Pureed Pumpkin
3/4 Teaspoon Ginger
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Cloves
A Pinch of Salt
1- 8 Ounce Container of Mascarpone Cheese
Beat your Cream Cheese and Brown sugar together until evenly incorporated. Scrape down your mixing bowl and then add your spices, salt and Pumpkin. Mix until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl again and mix for another 20 seconds or so. Add your mascarpone and mix for about a minute. Scrape bowl one last time and mix in the eggs. Once everything is incorporated (don’t over mix!), pour this gorgeous batter over your crust. Place your cheesecake onto a baking sheet and pop in the oven. Now carefully add about 1/2 inch of water to the baking pan (not the cheesecake!) to allow your cheesecake to bake evenly. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until set. Check halfway through to see if you need to add more water to your cheesecake’s bath. Allow cheesecake to fully cool, then gently run a knife around it’s edges to prevent disaster, and pop that sucker out! Refrigerate overnight before serving.
Wanna drizzle some sinful caramel on top? Good decision. Follow This Recipe and go for it.
All pictures were taken by a devoted lover of Pecan Pie, Evan Lentz.