1 recipe Walnut Pie Crust (see page 186)
16 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whipped cream (optional)
Torta Di Zucca
Serves 8 to 10
Make the walnut pie crust and pat the mixture over the bottom and 2/3's of the way up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and ricotta cheese in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin and beat well. Mix in the brown sugar, nutmeg and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour the batter into the prepared crust and bake for 1 1/4 hours, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, let cool completely on a baking rack, then, refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
To serve, remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator, place on a serving dish, remove the side ring and cut into wedges. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream on top.
If you would prefer not to garnish the cheesecake with whipped cream, an alternative is to drizzle 1 or 2 tablespoons of Caramel Sauce (see page 182) over the top, or garnish each slice with a whole walnut or a chocolate covered coffee bean.