This post was sponsored by AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate as part of an Influencer Campaign for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
We all love the tried and true pumpkin pie. Even those amongst us who haven’t quite developed a taste for it, recognize that no Thanksgiving table is truly complete without one. Today I decided to put a twist on the pumpkin pie by crossing it with a cheesecake, and then adding in a few key delights to the mix.
We’ll be doing this with some help from my new friends over at AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate – more on them in just a moment. Now, without further delay, let’s dive right in, and piece together a Chocolate Swirl Pumpkin Pie one delicious step at a time.
Reinventing a Seasonal Classic
While this is instantly a different pie from standard pumpkin pie, there are few key differences worth noting.
1) Chocolate. At the risk of being called Madam Obvious, this is the big treat here. With the addition of melted chocolate baked directly into the pie, we achieve not only a delicious layer of extra flavor, but also the distinctive swirl that makes today’s pie so eye-appealing.
2) Creamy ‘mousse-like’ Texture. A decent pumpkin has a dense, ‘solid cream’ texture – uncooked it has a gooey, over-moist texture, while an overcooked pumpkin pie features a ‘cracked’ top and a rubbery mouthfeel. Today’s pie does away with all of that in favor of a dense filling that’s almost mousse-like in its texture, but solid nevertheless.
3) Layers of Cream. Building on what I wrote above, we’re adding in sour cream and ‘frothed’ heavy cream – more on that later – in place of the standard evaporated milk or whole milk, and this makes a world of difference not only in texture but also in ‘taste,’ giving the pie a bit of a ‘fresher’ or ‘milkier’ background taste.
Why You’ll Love It
1) Elegance the Whole Family Will Love. The real beauty of today’s pumpkin isn’t the homemade chocolate crust, the elegant chocolate swirl, the shamelessly decadent creamy texture, or its layers of seasonal flavors – but rather how they all come together to create a pie that has something for everyone in the family.
2) Impressing the Guests. Can we be real for a second? Absolutely everyone, and I mean everyone, loves impressing their guests – whether you’re hosting a party of dozens, or just having an intimate gathering of friends and family, making your guests think you’re a gourmet extraordinaire is half the fun, and this pie does precisely that…okay maybe it’s more like 90% of the fun.
3) Versatile. While today’s recipe is assuredly part cheesecake and part pumpkin pie, it can feature on virtually any Thanksgiving or Holiday dessert spread right alongside either of them, since it’s very much it’s ‘own’ dessert, and wouldn’t steal the thunder from a classic pumpkin pie or cheesecake. Conversely, it’s also decadent enough on its own to feature as the centerpiece of your dessert spread.
Pumpkin Spice is basically autumn in a jar, or ‘Powdered Thanksgiving.’ Thankfully, this delicious ‘flavor’ couldn’t possibly be easier to put together. No, seriously, it takes all of five minutes. Here’s the link to my recipe for putting together this seasonal delight, where I covered it in some detail, along with a few suggestions for what to do with it.
Yes, we are intentionally using pumpkin puree rather than Pumpkin Pie Filling, and yes these are two very different things. Pumpkin Pie Filling comes seasoned with all of the expected seasonal flavors such as cinnamon, cloves, allspice and sometimes ginger, as well as varying amounts of sugar or brown sugar (or both) – with certain brands being sweeter than others. Pumpkin Puree, by contrast, is pureed cooked pumpkin and nothing more. Since we’re seasoning today’s pie ourselves, we’re opting for the puree.
This is a matter of ‘frothy vs creamy,’ and is the difference between a deliciously textured pie and one that’s…well, ‘not’ so deliciously textured. That said, you don’t want to beat the heavy cream until its thick, you merely want it ‘frothy.’ Trust me on this.
This is perhaps the single most important point I can make. Please take note of the layering process I outline in the recipe card below. You want to create wholly separate ‘layers’ of cheesecake and chocolate, this will allow you to ‘marble’ or ‘swirl’ the cake as described below, thereby achieving a design like the one you see in the pictures.
Other Seasonal Favorites
Okay, I know I linked this above, so just consider this a little ‘nudge’ towards this recipe. Seriously, homemade pumpkin spice is a must-have! Now go check it out.
One of the quintessential items of the fall and Thanksgiving season, here’s my take on the ever-familiar apple crisp.
An elegant yet simple ‘sweet bite’ that, at least for me, is a year-round delight, but that really shines during the cooler months.
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