This make-ahead holiday dessert consists of a traditional cheesecake topped with an airy spiced pumpkin layer.
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.Crust and Cheesecake Layer:
2. In bowl, mix crumbs, butter, sugar and cinnamon. Press over bottom and 1-3/4 inches up side of 9-inch springform pan (see photo 1, at right).
3. In large bowl, beat cream cheese, eggs, sugar, half-and-half, flour and allspice. Pour into graham crust.
4. Bake in 350 degree F oven 35 minutes or until center is set. Transfer to rack; let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate.Pumpkin Chiffon Layer:
5. While cheesecake is chilling, in medium-size bowl, stir together pumpkin, 1/2 cup of the sugar, egg yolk, salt and allspice.
6. In small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over water. Let stand until gelatin softens, 5 minutes. Add half-and-half. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until gelatin is dissolved.
7. Stir small amount of warm half-and-half mixture into pumpkin mixture; stir pumpkin mixture into half-and-half mixture in saucepan. Place over medium heat; cook, stirring constantly, for 10 to 13 minutes or until mixture reaches 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer (photo 2).
8. Cool mixture over ice water in large bowl until consistency of sour cream (mixture mounds on top of itself), 6 to 8 minutes (photo 3). Remove from ice water bath.
9. In small bowl, sprinkle powdered egg whites over warm water. Let stand 3 minutes. Beat with mixer until foamy. Gradually beat in remaining sugar until stiff peaks form (photo 4).
10. . Fold egg white mixture into pumpkin mixture (photo 5). Scrape onto cheesecake; smooth top. Cover; refrigerate overnight to firm chiffon. Makes 12 servings.
11. Note: Powdered egg whites are available from The Baker's Catalogue, 800-827-6836 or www.bakerscatalogue.com.