Pumpkin Cheesecake

Dave DeWitt Recipes Leave a Comment

Tired of pumpkin pie? Then try this fancy (for me) pumpkin cheesecake. Sip a little of that leftover whiskey to help you digest this dessert.


For the Crumb Crust:

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumb
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

For the Pumpkin Filling:

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 (16 ounce) can solid-pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon whiskey or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs

For the Sour-Cream Topping:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In 9-inch-by 3-inch springform pan, use a fork to stir together the graham-cracker crumbs, melted margarine or butter and sugar until moistened. With your hand, press the mixture onto bottom of the pan. Tightly wrap the outside of pan with heavy-duty foil to prevent leakage when baking in the water bath later.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Allow it to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

In a large bowl, using a mixer at medium speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth; slowly beat in the sugar until blended, about 1 minute, scraping the bowl often with a rubber spatula.

With the mixer at low speed, beat in the pumpkin, sour cream, bourbon or vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Pour the pumpkin mixture into the pre-baked crust and place it in large roasting pan. Place the pan on the oven rack. Carefully pour enough boiling water into pan to come 1 inch up the side of the springform pan. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the center barely jiggles.

Meanwhile, prepare the Sour-Cream Topping. In a small bowl, with a wire whisk, beat the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla until blended.

Remove the cheesecake from the water bath, leaving the water bath in oven, and spread the sour-cream mixture evenly over the top of the cake. Return the cake to the water bath and bake 5 minutes longer.

Remove the cheesecake from the water bath to a wire rack and discard the foil. With a small knife, loosen the cheesecake from the side of the pan to help prevent cracking during cooling. Cool the cheesecake completely. Cover and refrigerate the cheesecake at least 6 hours or overnight, until well chilled. Remove the side of pan to serve.

Blue Cheese Dressing

Dave DeWitt Recipes Leave a Comment

This is an easy to prepare, and very tasty, alternative to bottled dressings. Increase or decrease the amount of blue cheese to suit your taste.


  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • ½ cup sour cream

  • 2 tablespoons minced onion

  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

  • 4 ounces crumbled blue chees



Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until well blended. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours. Use within 10 days.


Blue Corn Chile Cheese Muffins!

Dave DeWitt Recipes Leave a Comment

I like to use blue corn in this recipe because of its nutty taste. But if you don’t have blue corn available, substitute yellow cornmeal. They will still be just as good. Another tasty variation is to add crumbled bacon to the mix. Normally I use 4 chopped jalapenos but I substituted the jalapeno pulp for this experiment. Serve these in place of cornbread with barbecues, picnics, or even as a breakfast muffin.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup blue cornmeal

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 3 teaspoons baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoons salt

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese

  • 3 tablespoon melted margarine

  • 1/4 cup jalapeño pulp


Preheat an oven to 425°F.

Sift all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

In another bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir to just mix them.

Lightly oil a muffin pan and divide the batter evenly among 12 to 15 muffin cups, filling up each one about halfway. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

Cool the muffins on a rack and serve them warm or at room temperature.

Hot Pepper Jelly Fried Potatoes in Fried Cheese Shell

Dave DeWitt Recipes Leave a Comment

This fast, easy and delicious recipe from Chef Harv of Gourmet Central makes the perfect presentation.


  • 2 big potatoes (Yukon gold are best)

  • 2 tablespoons Chef Harv’s Hot Pepper Jelly (or substitute your favorite)

  • 2 tablespoons wine or apple juice

  • Salt, pepper & herbs to taste

  • Olive oil

  • Shredded cheddar cheese


Peel and slice the potatoes. Put olive oil in a pan on medium high heat and add the potatoes and seasonings. Brown to your liking. When the potatoes are done, mix Pepper Jelly and wine (or apple juice) together and add to the pan and glaze on the potatoes. This should take about 3 minutes.

To make the fried cheese shell, heat a small non-stick pan on medium high. Add enough shredded cheddar just to cover the bottom of the pan. When the cheese moves freely in the pan, flip it over to cook the other side (lightly brown on both sides). On a cutting board, turn a small bowl upside down. Place the melted cheese on top of the bowl, and pat down with several layers of paper towels (this cheese is really hot!). Remove the paper towel and wait a few moments for the cheese to cool. Remove from the bowl and turn upright. Fill your crisp Fried Cheese Shell with your Hot Pepper Jelly Potatoes for the perfect presentation.


Avocado and Ancho Chile Cheesecake with Crab Fondue

Dave DeWitt Recipes Leave a Comment

This recipe is from the Inn at Loretto in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


For the Crust:

  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:

  • 1 3/4 pound cream cheese

  • 1 large egg

  • ½ cup heavy cream

  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated

  • 4 ripe avocados

  • 1/4 cup ancho chile puree

For the Crab Fondue:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 cup shallots, finely minced

  • 1 cup white wine

  • 1 quart heavy cream

  • 2 sprigs of fresh tarragon

  • 8 ounces jumbo lump crab meat

  • Chopped tarragon for the garnish


For the Crust and Filling:

Pre-heat the oven to 350° F

Combine crust ingredients and press the mixture firmly into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

Using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, blend the cream cheese and avocado. Add the egg and continue beating until the mixture is smooth, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Pour the filling into the springform pan and swirl in the ancho puree to create a marbled effect.

Bake the cheesecake in the pre-heated oven until firm, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool thoroughly on a rack. Serve at room temperature with warm crab fondue (see recipe).

For the Crab Fondue:

Heat the oil in a skillet and saute the shallots until they are translucent. Deglaze the pan with the wine and reduce the mixture by half. Add the cream and tarragon and reduce by half; the cream should coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Remove the tarragon and fold in the crab meat.

Spoon the mixture over the Avocado Ancho Chile Cheesecake and garnish with the chopped tarragon.