Pumpkin cheesecake spiked with Irish cream liqueur is a perfect dessert for celebrating Thanksgiving, attending a holiday gathering or hosting a party. The distinctive flavor of Baileys perfectly compliments a creamy, pumpkin cheesecake filling.
I created this Irish-American fusion pie especially for Thanksgiving. Bailey’s cheesecake meets pumpkin pie, resulting in a hybrid Baileys pumpkin cheesecake. It boasts the requisite flavors of Thanksgiving, while it’s light texture makes it a perfect dessert after a heavy turkey dinner.
This is a baked cheesecake. Technically, it probably should be called a cheese pie, but whether you call it cake or pie, cheese, pumpkin and Baileys are the perfect trio for scrumptiousness.
- 1 and 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (8 cookie sheets)
- 1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs (25 cookies)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons melted butter (1/2 stick)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 and 1/2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
- 8oz 1/3-less fat cream cheese (1 block)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur (Baileys or any other brand)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 egg whites
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 and 1/2 cups low-fat sour cream
- 2 tablespoons Baileys Irish cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- Whipped heavy cream to decorate if desired
The first step is to create the biscuit crumb base. In Ireland I use digestive biscuits for all my cheesecake bases. When I can’t find my favorite McVite’s biscuits in America I compromise by using a mixture of graham crackers and vanilla wafers.
Place the graham cracker cookie sheets and vanilla wafers in a large plastic bag and zip closed. Using a rolling pin crush the cookies to form crumbs. This step can be completed in a food processor.
Toss the cookie crumbs into a large mixing bowl.
Add 1/4 cup of sugar and mix well.
Pour the melted butter into the cookie crumb and sugar mixture and combine using a fork. Mix well to moisten all of the crumbs. Just enough butter is used to hold the crumb base together. The mixture shouldn’t be too wet.
Press the cookie crumb mixture into the base and up the sides of a 10-inch round spring form pan, coated in cooking spray. Place the pie base in the refrigerator while making the filling, allowing it to chill.
Next it’s time to make the pie filling and a blender can do most of the work.
Add the sugar, cottage cheese, cream cheese, pumpkin puree, Greek yogurt, Baileys, flour, salt, 2 eggs and egg yolks to a blender.
I don’t add typical pumpkin pie spices to my filling, since I like how the Irish cream and pumpkin flavors blend. Too many spices overwhelm the creamy liqueur. But feel free to spice up the pie filling to satisfy your taste buds. Toss in some cinnamon, nutmeg or all-spice into the blender with the cheese filling and blend away, if you can’t handle pumpkin without a hint of cinnamon.
Look at the lovely fall colors in the blender.
Process until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl.
I’m hoping for a nice big food processor for Christmas this year. With my trusty twenty year old blender I’ve got to hold down the lid to make sure this mixture doesn’t explode all over the walls when I flip that switch.
Using a hand mixer beat the two egg whites in a separate bowl until the eggs form firm peaks. Add the powdered sugar.
Beat again until the eggs become glossy and form stiff peaks. You should be able to turn the bowl upside down without the eggs moving in the slightest.
Combine the pumpkin cheese blend and the beaten egg whites. Use a large spoon to gently blend the egg whites into the mixture. Do not beat them with the hand mixer.
A lovely light orange creamy mixture should be the result.
Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust. Bake at 325 degrees F for 50 minutes. When the cheesecake is ready the surface will be a light golden color. The center will jiggle just slightly when the pan is moved. The center will firm up during the cooling time.
A typical cooked-cake test using a knife or tooth pick doesn’t work for a cheesecake. A knife may crack the top of a cheesecake made with sour cream. The test will never be accurate since cheesecake is supposed to be a little moist and gooey. The knife will never come out clean. Cheesecakes, like this one, made with sour cream still jiggle when cooked and have a soft spot in the center.
Here is a photo of the cheesecake as it came out of the oven.
Next, add the ingredients for the pie topping (sour cream, powdered sugar and Baileys) to a small mixing bowl.
Whisk them together to form a glossy topping. Pour the topping over the cheesecake, spreading it evenly to cover the cooked filling.
Return the cake to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes at 325 degrees. Most of the alcohol will burn off at this temperature.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack until it reaches room temperature. Cover it and place it in the refrigerator to cool over night, or for a minimum of 4 hours.
The surface of my cheesecake is not as pretty as I wished. A little, wandering finger tested it as it was waiting to be photographed. I tried to smooth over the evidence, but I’m afraid the damage was done.
To serve, remove the sides of the spring form pan and slice.
Hope you enjoy this delicious taste of fall.
Here’s the printable recipe:
Wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving.
Slán agus beannacht leat!
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom