I use this reliable workhorse regularly in my kitchen. It mixes the fillings for this pie in a matter of seconds. This model is the top pick of Cook's Illustrated.
I have two of these that I've been using for years. They're rated #1 by Cooks Illustrated. Here's what they said: "Good crisping and browning, a see-through bottom to monitor the bottom crust, a half-inch rim, shallow, angled sides, and a low price made this our winner—again."
The angle and size of this spatula makes it easy to evenly spread the pie filling and topping.
This holds a 9 or 10 inch pie plate and keeps it securely covered for refrigerator and freezer storage. It's very handy when you want to make ahead a pie or pie crust.
This grid pattern cooling rack is awesome and the #1 recommendation of Cooks Illustrated. It also fits perfectly inside a half baking sheet to create a baking rack.
This 13 by 18 inch pan is called a "half sheet" and is sized perfectly to pair with the silicone mats. It's a versatile pan for all kinds of baking and roasting, and the lid is great for convenient storage. I put a pie plate on top of these for ease in taking it in and out of the oven without distrubing the pie crust.
My sister, Nelda, recently suggested that it would be great to have a recipe for Thanksgiving that combines layers of our Grandma's Pumpkin Pie with our mom's Old Fashioned Cream Cheese Pie. Great idea, Sis--I'm on it! A new family pie recipe is born.
Just to make sure I got the recipe right, I dropped this pie off at my sons' company, LACRM, for some taste testing. The hungry crew there gave it rave reviews. It's a winner!
This pie is a sure hit for your holiday table. Why choose between cheesecake and pumpkin pie when you can enjoy them together in each bite of this scrumptious dessert? It has make-ahead convenience, too.
Step 1. Assemble the ingredients:
*Room temperature ingredients are essential for achieving a smooth mixture without lumpy cream cheese!
Ingredients for the graham cracker crust:
Step 2. MAKE GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST in a 9" pie pan. (You can substitute gingersnap cookies for the graham crackers, if you like.) Refer to my post, Simple Graham Cracker Pie Crust, for the recipe and step-by-step photos. Refrigerate the unbaked crust so it firms up before filling it.
MIX INGREDIENTS using a food processor, blender, or electric mixer. I'd always used an electric stand mixer for my cream cheese pie; however, I wanted to make it recently at an Airbnb that only had a blender (no electric mixer). Turns out the blender worked great. If anything it made it easier to get a smooth mixture quickly.
Step 3. MIX CREAM CHEESE LAYER. (I'm using a food processor in the photos below.) Add cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla to the food processor bowl. Process 20-25 seconds until smooth, scraping down the sides once or twice to ensure that no cream cheese lumps remain. (A blender may require a longer processing time--blender power can vary widely. Keep an eye on it, and stop blending when the mixture is smooth.)
view on Amazon: my food processor (#1 recommendation of Cooks Illustrated)
To mix with an electric mixer: Add cream cheese and sugar to a mixing bowl. Blend on low speed 1-2 min. until smooth, scraping the sides down once or twice to ensure that no lumps remain in cream cheese. Add eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice. Mix on medium speed until completely combined and smooth (30-60 seconds).
Step 4. FILL AND BAKE. Pour filling into chilled graham cracker crust. Spread evenly and smooth with a spatula. Bake 20 min.
view on Amazon: my 9-inch pie plate
view on Amazon: my go-to baking sheet
Step 5. MIX PUMPKIN LAYER. While the pie bakes, add pumpkin, egg, sour cream, pumpkin pie spice, salt and sugar to food processor or blender (no need to wash them out after the cream cheese mixture--remaining bits will blend right in). Blend just until thoroughly mixed, scraping down sides as needed.
Or, If using an electric mixer, in a medium bowl, mix pumpkin layer ingredients together at medium speed until smooth.
Step 6. BAKE UNTIL PUFFY. Remove the pie from the oven when it is set and has a slight jiggle in the center, approx. 20 min. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Step 7. SPOON ON PUMPKIN TOPPING. Use a spoon to lightly drizzle the top with the pumpkin mixture in an even layer. Use a small offset spatula to spread and smooth the topping. A light touch is important so the topping doesn't sink into the hot cream cheese base.
view on Amazon: small offset frosting spatula
Step 8. FINISH BAKING. Return the pie to the oven for approx. 25 more minutes until the pumpkin topping is set and slightly browning around the edges, with a slight jiggle when nudged. Place it on a cooling rack and allow it to cool at room temperature for 1 hour.
Step 9. CHILL IT. Transfer the pie to the refrigerator and chill uncovered for at least 5 hours before serving. (Do not cover until completely chilled to avoid sweating from release of steam.) After it's completely chilled, the pie should be covered if it won't be eaten within a few hours. A pie saver container is handy for refrigerating the pie without disturbing the edges or top of the pie.
view on Amazon: pie saver container, wire cooling rack
MAKE-AHEAD CONVENIENCE! I recommend making this pie a day ahead and chilling it overnight. That gives the pie ample time to chill and firm up, and it relieves the stress of last-minute baking on the day of the meal.
This pie slices beautifully. Look at those gorgeous layers!
OPTIONAL: You can add a dollop of whipped cream to each slice, if you like.
That creamy, silky cream cheese layer with pumpkin pie on top is a winning combo.
Like pumpkin? Here are some more recipes you might enjoy:
Make it a Yummy day!