Cream cheese produces ultimate creamy pumpkin pie

Ultra creamy pumpkin pie has a chocolate crumb pie crust, but the filling will work wonderfully in any crust. (AP Photo)

Matthew Mead

In our search for the creamiest possible pumpkin pie, we decided to take our inspiration from the ultimate of creamy pies – cheesecake.

We love the richness and depth cheesecake gets from its prime ingredient – cream cheese. That said, we didn’t want to bake a pumpkin cheesecake, which can be a bit too heavy after an already heavy meal. Plus, Thanksgiving is all about tradition and we love a classic pumpkin pie.

But we did add just enough cream cheese to our favorite cream-based pumpkin pie filling to push it over the top in terms of creaminess. You’re going to love this. We opted for a chocolate crumb pie crust for this pie, but the filling will work wonderfully in any crust you care to use. Substitute at will.

ULTRA-CREAMY PUMPKIN PIE

Start to finish: 1 hour 10 minutes (15 minutes active)

Servings: 8

2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ground dry ginger

1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground allspice

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup maple syrup

4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

3 eggs

15-oz. can pumpkin puree

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 prepared deep-dish chocolate crumb crust (or preferred crust)

Heat the oven to 375 F. Place a rimmed baking sheet on the oven’s middle rack.

In a food processor, combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, salt and brown sugar. Processor until well mixed. Add the maple syrup, cream cheese, eggs, pumpkin and cream, then process until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed to ensure even mixing.

Transfer the pumpkin mixture to the prepared crust, smoothing the top. Place the pie on the heated baking pan in the oven (this promotes even cooking). Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the center of the pie jiggles only slightly. Cool for 30 minutes before slicing.

Nutrition information per serving: 360 calories; 150 calories from fat (42 percent of total calories); 17 g fat (8 g saturated; 2.5 g trans fats); 115 mg cholesterol; 49 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 36 g sugar; 6 g protein; 320 mg sodium.

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