Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie with Whole Wheat Cornmeal Crust

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My sweet and impossibly smart friend Shawnee said recently that this blog is a lot more fun when I’m making pies and the like. She’s right. Trying to eat cleaner is simpler (boring), has a lot of meat and cooked veg (doesn’t photograph well), and isn’t particularly tempting to rush home and make yourself (try Lottie + Doof).

But it is the treat time of year and I’ve made 6 of these glorious pies now in the last couple weeks. Thank goodness I gave most of them away, but I did get to eat a piece at Thanksgiving and for lunch the day after. What I love most about it is that it seems to be a traditional pumpkin pie, elevated, while not being as dense and rich as a traditional cheesecake. The crust is hearty and buttery. The filling isn’t very sweet, but well spiced with the flavors of real pumpkin and cream cheese dominant.

I like it best cold straight our of the refrigerator with a dollop of real whipped cream.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie
Adapted from Bon Appetit, November 1999

Ingredients:
Crust:
3 Tbs (or more) ice water
1 egg yolk
1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup whole milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt

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Instructions:
For crust:
Whisk 3 tablespoons ice water and egg yolk in small bowl to blend. Mix whole wheat flour, yellow cornmeal, sugar and salt in food processor. Add chilled butter. Using on/off turns, process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle egg yolk mixture over. Using on/off turns, process until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by the tablespoon if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball. Flatten dough into disk; wrap disk in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (Can be prepared up to two days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350°F. Roll out dough on a well floured surface to 12-inch round. Fold dough lightly into four quarters and transfer to a 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Unfold the dough to center in the dish and press to make fit the inside of the pie dish. Crimp dough edges decoratively.

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For filling:
Using electric mixer, beat the cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy. Add the white and brown sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and egg yolk 1 at a time. Add remaining ingredients and beat until well blended. Pour filling into prepared crust.

Bake pie until filling is slightly puffed and just set in center, about 50 minutes. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely. Cover pie and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep pie refrigerated.) Serve pie cold.

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