c.1997, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, all rights reserved
- 8 to 10 servings
- 2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted (see Note 1)
- 2 pounds cream cheese, softened
- 1 3/4 cups cooked and pureed pumpkin, drained in a fine strainer
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ginger juice (see Note 2)
- 3 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9 inch round cake pan. Coat the bottom and sides with the toasted almonds.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer at low speed until soft and smooth, about 1 minute. In another bowl, combine the pureed pumpkin, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and ginger juice. Again with the electric mixer, mix together well, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating in well between each addition. Add the pumpkin mixture to the softened cream cheese and mix thoroughly, scraping down the sides of the bowl frequently, but do not overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, tapping the bottom gently on a counter four or five times to eliminate air pockets. Place the cake pan inside a large roasting pan and pour in very hot tap water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until the center feels firm when pressed. Immediately remove the cake pan from the larger pan and set aside to cool on a rack. Refrigerate 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
To serve, place the cake pan over a low burner for about 20 seconds to melt the butter. Place a piece of baking parchment over the pan and invert it onto a large plate. Immediately invert it again onto a serving platter and peel off the parchment (the nuts will be on the bottom).
Note 1: To toast almonds, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the almonds on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven until golden, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool. Note 2: To make ginger juice, grate a 3 inch piece of peeled fresh ginger into a bowl. Set a fine strainer over a clean bowl and press the grated ginger against the mesh of the strainer with the back of a spoon to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the pulp.