Fall is upon us and it’s time to focus on the bounty of seasonal produce that has been waiting patiently for us to partake in them. Squash, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, greens, pumpkins, spinach, sweet potatoes and of course, apples. Time to for good ol’ comfort food that soothes our souls. The food that brings in the holidays and gets us thinking about all that is warm and wonderful. Have a salacious seasonal recipe? Share it! Otherwise, stop by each week for a new dose of Fall and Winter freshness.
This week’s recipe is provided by Chef Tanner Agar, Founder of The Chef Shelf. After working in restaurants in Canada, the US, and Spain Tanner started The Chef Shelf to help independent chefs turn their signature items into retail products. In addition to being a marketplace for these products, The Chef Shelf has videos and recipes to create a community and make great cooking accessible.
Pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust and sparkling ginger ale
For gingersnap crust
- ¼ lb. gingersnaps
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 2 lbs. room temp cream cheese
- 1 15 oz. can pumpkin
- 1½ Cup Sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp. ground allspice
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
Making a gingersnap crust is almost the same as the graham cracker crust you may be more familiar with. Simply place the cookies in a food processor and turn into crumbs. Add the brown sugar and butter and blend for a few seconds. Press evenly into a greased springform pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Beat the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Add one egg at a time followed by all other ingredients. You want to beat the ingredients so they are combined, but not overbeaten. This will create a smooth texture. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust.
Create a water bath by placing the springfoam in a roasting pan and adding water. Bake the cheesecake at 350 F for 75-90 minutes. Once slightly puffed and golden remove, cool, and refrigerate overnight.
Sparkling ginger ale
- 1 ½ oz. fresh, finely grated ginger
- 6 oz. sugar
- 1 cup water
- ½ can pumpkin
Place all ingredients in a saucepan and set on medium-high heat. Once the sugar has dissolved remove the mixture, cover, and steep for 1 hour.
Pour the syrup through a fine strainer into a bowl. Make sure to get all the syrup while leaving behind the solids. Chill by placing in the refrigerator.
Add the syrup to sparking water to enjoy immediately, or ferment your own.
- 7 cups water
- 1/8 tsp. active dry yeast
Pour the syrup, yeast, and water into a 2 liter bottle. Screw on the cap and shake gently to combine. Let the bottle sit for 2 days at room temperature. Once the mixture is properly carbonated, put it in the refrigerator to cool. Once you do this, remember to open once a day to let off excess carbonation and avoid an explosion.
Pumpkin and squash make for great leftovers too!
I eat pumpkin and squash all year round. Chef Tanner
Simplicity expert and purveyor of provocative vegetarian cuisine, A.Michelle Blakeley is the curator of the new online magazine, The Vegetarian Aficionado. Being a vegetarian is a lifestyle. With a focus on plant-based seasonal and local fare, vegetarianism is a harmonic balance between your mind, body and soul that gives rise to an appetite for life. Connect with her on Twitter at @vegaficionado or Instagram at vegetarianaficionado