@whatsgabbycooking on Instagram made this amazing pumpkin cheesecake this week with a pillow marshmallow meringue. I had to make it but since Amelia wanted a chocolate cake, I changed the meringue to be more up her alley.
The crust on this is so nutty and using walnuts are so clever. They taste even better than a gingerbread crust, almond crust or pastry crust would taste here. And, it’s thin, so it’s not too clunky. It lets the cheesecake filling shine, and shine it does! The chocolate meringue is very decadent, and could easily be left off. But what fun would that be?
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chocolate Marshmallow Meringue
For the walnut crust:
- 1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup ground walnuts
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
For the cheesecake filling:
- 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 large eggs
For the chocolate marshmallow topping:
- 1 tablespoon good quality cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup egg whites
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
- To make the crust, in a food processor, pulse the flour, walnuts, brown sugar and butter on low speed until combined, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Press the crust into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce the oven to 300 degrees.
- To make the filling, in the bowl of a cleaned out food processor, pulse the cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree, vanilla and spices and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, pulsing after each addition.
- Wrap a double layer of aluminum foil around the bottom and sides of the springform pan. Add the filling and smooth the top. Place in the center of a roasting pan. Pour hot water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the cheesecake is firm but jiggles slightly in the center, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool in the water bath before topping with the meringue. The cheesecake can be refrigerated overnight.
- To make the meringue, in a saucepan, bring 1 inch of water to a simmer. Place the cocoa powder, egg whites, brown sugar, agave and vanilla bean seeds in a stand mixer bowl and set over but not touching the simmering water. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is hot, about 2 minutes. Place the bowl on the mixer and beat with the whisk attachment on high speed until the meringue cools to room temperature and stiff peaks form, 5 to 6 minutes.
- Lightly pat the cheesecake with a paper towel to remove moisture. Mound the meringue on top, using a pastry spatula to spread it to the edges, it should be quite tall. Using a spoon, create mountains and swoops of meringue around the surface. Lightly brown with a kitchen torch. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Enjoy!