September 26th, 2016
Loving cheesecake is the human condition. It’s one of the foods I lust after, but rarely prepare, making its enjoyment all the more special. The thin, cookie-like crust is a play on buttered pecans, perfumed with the nut, oats that get toasty, and a bit of butter. (It’s also gluten-free!) The delicately gingered filling is velvety and dense, more New York–style than ethereal—it doesn’t mess around, nor should it.
For the crust: Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a food processor or blender, blend ½ cup oats with pecans until finely ground. Add to a large bowl with remaining ½ cup oats (unblended), butter, molasses, and salt.
Mix until combined. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch nonstick springform pan (the crust is to be thin). Bake for 15 minutes. Place on a large-rimmed baking sheet and set aside to cool completely while preparing filling.
For the filling: Turn oven down to 300ºF. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth; scrape down sides and paddle, or scrape down beaters and beat again.
Beat in brown sugar; scrape down sides and paddle, or scrape down beaters and beat again. Beat in pumpkin, molasses, vanilla, pumpkin spice, ginger, and salt; scrape down sides and paddle, or scrape down beaters and beat again. Add eggs one at a time, beating on low until incorporated.
Pour mixture into prepared crust and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn oven off and let sit for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely to room temperature; refrigerate for at least 8 hours (or preferably overnight) until cold.
To serve, run a sharp knife around rim of cheesecake; unhinge pan, sprinkle very lightly with additional pumpkin spice, if desired, and slice. Serve chilled.