A Sweet Addition To Your Christmas Feast

Christmas feasts are a dreamtables heaving with dessert and overflowing glasses of wine. Here is a dessert that will add more warmth and sweetness to your festive table
Spiced Pumpkin & Maple Pecan Cheesecake
Spiced Pumpkin & Maple Pecan Cheesecake

Spiced Pumpkin & Maple Pecan Cheesecake by Chef Tarun Sibal


For the cheesecake 70 g butter, plus extra for greasing 180g digestive biscuits, blitzed to fine crumbs 600g full-fat cream cheese 400g pumpkin puree 130g light brown soft sugar Zest of 1 orange, finely grated 1 tsp vanilla extract ¾ tsp each of ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg 1/8 tsp ground cloves Two eggs

For the topping 35g butter 100g pecan nuts, roughly chopped 3 tbsp maple syrup Icing sugar for dusting


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Grease and line a 20cm springform cake tin.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then stir in the blitzed biscuits. Press the biscuit mixture into the bottom of the cake tin, using the back of a spoon to flatten gently to form a crust. Bake the crust for 10 mins until golden, then remove it from the oven and set aside to cool while you make the filling.

Turn down the oven temperature to 180 degrees C. Meanwhile, mix the cream cheese and pumpkin puree using an electric hand whisk. Add the sugar, orange zest, vanilla and spices, then add the eggs and beat to incorporate. Pour into the tin over the biscuit base.

Place an oven tray of water at the bottom, then put the cheesecake into the oven. Bake for about 1 hour, until the cheesecake has just set on top but still has a generous wobble in the middle if you shake it gently &ndash it will continue to set as it cools. Turn off the oven with the cake inside and, using a wooden spoon's handle, prop open the oven door slightly.

Leave the cake to cool in the oven for 1-2 hours. Once cool, take it out and transfer it to a serving plate.

For the topping, melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the chopped pecans to the butter. Fry for 1 minute, then add the maple syrup. Fry for another couple of minutes until the pecans are sticky and fragrant. Tip them over the top of the cheesecake. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before dusting with icing sugar and serving.

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