| RECIPE METHOD
Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F. Position a rack in the center
of the oven. Position a second rack directly below it.
To make the crust, in a large bowl, combine the graham cracker
and gingersnap crumbs, sugar, and ginger. Stir in the melted butter.
Firmly press the crumbs into the bottom of a 9 1/2-inch springform
pan. Brush the crust lightly with the egg white and chill for at
least 15 minutes before filling and baking.
To make the filling, in a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese,
sour cream, and brown and granulated sugars, using an electric mixer,
until smooth. Gently beat in the egg yolks, then the pumpkin puree,
vanilla, cornstarch, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. In a
large bowl, beat the egg whites, with a whisk or an electric mixer,
until stiff peaks are formed. Fold the egg whites into the cream
Pour the filling into the prepared pan and place in the oven. Set
an 8-inch-square baking pan filled halfway with hot water on the
rack below the cheesecake (this helps prevent the top of the cheesecake
from cracking). Bake until the center does not tremble when the
cake is gently shaken, about 1 1/2 hours.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for several minutes. Place
a rack 4 to 5 inches from the heat source of a broiler. Preheat
To make the topping, in a small bowl, combine the walnuts, ginger,
and sugar. Add the butter and mix together with a fork or clean
fingers until crumbly. Sprinkle over the warm cheesecake and place
in the broiler to melt the sugar and caramelize the topping, 30
to 40 seconds. Watch carefully so that the topping does not burn.
Remove the cheesecake from the broiler and let cool to room temperature.
Cover and chill for at least 6 hours or as long as overnight. When
it is chilled, run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake and
remove the pan rim. Set the cheesecake on a serving plate without
removing the pan bottom.
Note: To toast walnuts, spread shelled nuts in a shallow pan. Toast
in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F, stirring occasionally, until
lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Chronicle. All rights reserved.