Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Pie

If you haven't decided just quite yet what you are serving for dessert on Thanksgiving, I'd highly recommend you add this delicious cheesecake/pie hybrid from Better Homes & Gardens to your menu.

I made this about a month ago for friends of ours and it was the perfect fall dessert.

What's not to like about pumpkin pie, cheesecake and chocolate all rolled into one dessert? I especially liked the fact that this is not overwhelmingly sweet.  I contribute this to the low amount of sugar in the cheesecake layer.

Each layer is distinct - the cheesecake, chocolate and pumpkin, but they meld together perfectly.  The pure pumpkin taste is really prominent - in fact each layer remains prominent. I can honestly say that not one element stands out more than the other.

A few notes:
- As always, I used reduced fat cream cheese in place of the full fat kind.
- Next time, I would add a little coarse sea salt to the top (just a bit), for added texture and to bring out the sweetness of the pumpkin and the chocolate flavor.
- If you have time, I'd highly recommend making the pie pastry yourself.  There's a freshness to a just baked pie crust that can't be beaten.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Pie

1 recipe Deep Dish Pie Pastry, below
12 ounces cream cheese, softened (1-1/2 8-oz. pkgs.)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup finely chopped semisweet chocolate or miniature chocolate pieces
1 15 ounce can pumpkin
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup half-and-half or light cream
Chopped chocolate (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Prepare and roll out Deep Dish Pie Pastry.

Transfer pastry to a 9-1/2- to 10-inch deep-dish pie plate. Trim crust edge 1/2-inch beyond pie plate. Flute edge high.

Line pastry with double thickness of foil. Bake 8 minutes. Remove foil; bake 6 minutes more or until golden. Cool on wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

In medium mixing bowl combine cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 egg; beat on low speed until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture in cooled pastry shell.

Sprinkle with chopped chocolate.

In bowl combine pumpkin, brown sugar, and spice. Stir in 4 eggs. Gradually stir in half-and-half. Slowly pour pumpkin mixture on chocolate layer.

To prevent overbrowning, cover pie edge with foil.

Bake 60 to 65 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Remove foil. Cool on wire rack. Cover and refrigerate within 2 hour. Top with chopped chocolate.

Deep Dish Pie Pastry

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
4 - 5 tablespoons cold water

In a medium bowl stir together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are pea-size. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cold water over part of the flour mixture; toss gently with a fork. Push moistened dough to side of bowl. Repeat with additional cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all of the flour mixture is moistened. Shape into a ball.


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