Chai Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake
1 ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
5 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp maple syrup
¼ cup green cardamom pods
2 Tbsp cloves, whole
2 cinnamon sticks
2 Tbsp black peppercorns
1 cups squash, defrosted, skin removed, chopped
1 lb cream cheese, softened
½ cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp ʻulu flour
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp chai spice, store bought or homemade (see recipe below)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Cheese Cake Crust
In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, butter and maple syrup.
Press this mixture into a 9 inch pie pan firmly and bake 10-12 minutes, until slightly golden brown.
Lower the oven to 300 degrees and let the crust cool at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the spices onto a sheet pan and toast 5 minutes, until fragrant. Cool and grind in a spice grinder.
In a blender, combine squash with 2-3 Tbsp water, just enough to get it to blend. Puree until smooth and set aside.
Beat the cream cheese with the second measurement of maple syrup until smooth and set aside.
Add the ʻulu flour, salt, chai spice, vanilla and squash. Puree and beat until fully incorporated.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing them in between additions.
Place the pie pan with baked crust on a sheet pan and pour in the cream cheese mixture.
Bake 45 minutes at 300 degrees (do not open the oven).
Turn off the oven and leave the pie to sit for another 2 hours (do not open the oven)
Remove the pie and let cool on a rack.
Place a piece of plastic wrap over the pie, letting it touch the pie, and enjoy the following day.
Looking for Hawai'i-grown pumpkin to make this recipe? Check our our recipe-ready Pala'ai.