Pumpkin Cheesecake at Thinking Cup

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I’ve just never really been a big fan of Autumn. Not like some people are who enjoy the crisp days and changing leaves. Or people who consider it more like the New Year because they have fond memories of starting new school years in September. I suppose it can be quite beautiful with the incredibly clear days filled with waning golden sunlight and   brilliantly colored foliage, particularly up here in New England. But I have no nostalgia around the start of the school year. (I rather hated college.) And despite whatever natural beauty the season may hold, it always feels like an end to me. The end of carefree summer fun. The end of warm, sunny weather and days that dawn early and sunset late. The end of wearing shorts, t-shirts, sundresses, and sandals. An end that leads into the harsh, seemingly endless New England winter.

But Autumn has one redeeming quality. Pumpkin. Well, pumpkin and other squash. I can’t get enough of it – pumpkin, acorn, butternut, delicata, buttercup. You name the variety, I love it. Baked, pureed, roasted, in a soup, in a salad, stuffed, or made into a dessert. And this year, the very talented pastry chef at Thinking Cup has added pumpkin cheesecake to the already amazing variety of housebaked goods they offer.

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I think the key with pumpkin cheesecake – or any pumpkin dessert – is to ensure that the pumpkin flavor enhances, but does not overwhelm the dessert. (Unless of course it’s pumpkin pie, which is, just pumpkin, and thus not a  favorite of mine because it’s too much pumpkin.) She’s achieved this balance with this light and creamy cheesecake. You can tell it’s cheesecake. It’s got that bright, slightly sour, tangy cheese note, but it’s harmonized with a deep, slightly spicy pumpkin background with the essence of nutmeg and clove. The gingerbread crust echoes these flavors, and it’s topped with whipped cream and salty roasted pumpkin seeds that add crunch to the creamy cake.

This is a reason to enjoy Autumn a little bit more.

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