Yesterday, Robin Leventhal, the new executive chef at Local 360, spoke about bringing seasonality to its menu. Today, Leventhal's sweet tooth gears up for fall. "What do I feel like eating? Because if it sounds good to me, chances are, it's going to sound good to other people." said Leventhal in yesterday's column, regarding finding inspiration for her menus. Those in a similar mood can follow suit with the help of a dessert recipe from one of Leventhal's former cooking classes.
Pumpkin Goat Cheese Cheesecake
1 ½ cups hazelnuts
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
3 Tbsp. sugar
Toast hazelnuts in oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cool slightly and rub off skins. Pulse nuts in food processor until coarse. Or, take cooked crisp crust or granola, pulse it in a food mill to crumb texture
Add sugar and process until nuts are finely chopped, but not greasy.
Combine with butter and pat into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool before filling.
Filling: (Do a half batch for tarts.)
1 lb. cream cheese, room temp
1 lb. goat cheese, room temp
2 cups pumpkin puree
2 cups sugar
½ cup molasses
1 Tbsp corn starch
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cardamom
½ tsp allspice
¼ tsp nutmeg
Pinch of Salt
Stir together sugar, cornstarch, and spices
Beat cheeses until smooth. Gradually add sugar mixture, scraping down sides of bowl.
Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well.
Beat in pumpkin just until blended. Pour into crust lined pan.
Place a pan of water in bottom of oven. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Reduce oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for another 30 minutes.
Remove cake from oven and place on cooling rack. Cover the pan and rack with a large bowl or pot, so that the cake cools slowly.
Cool completely then chill before serving.
**A nice trick is to reserve some of the cheese mixture before you have added the pumpkin, and create a marbleized pattern on top of tart before baking.