pumpkin cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe From Betty's Cook NookLet’s Break For Cheesecake

With all the pumpkin proliferation that erupts at the tail end of summer this is a recipe that might stand out from the orangey crowd.

I was a little leery about baking a sour cream topping but I was reminded that folks in these parts don’t mess around with sour cream. Go on – feel the force – the sour cream worked and made a nice topping for the cheesecake.

I don’t recall eating cheesecake until the 80s, when I dove fork first into a Sara Lee cheesecake. With origins to the 1940s Sara Lee cheesecake had been my north star for what a cheesecake should be. Nowadays baking a homemade cheesecake is simply worth the extra love.

Foodie Tips

❤  The amount of graham crackers caused some intense discussion in our household. We netted out that “18 double graham crackers” actually meant 18 sheets of 4-up crackers, which is 72 total crackers not 36. I guess in the golden days a single cracker was assumed to be a 2-up cracker whereas today it would likely be considered 2 separate crackers.

❤  Make sure your spring form pan is well seated and sealed. Mine leaked a little bit in the oven which I solved by placing a pan underneath to catch any drips. After a few minutes baking the cake had set and all was good!

❤  You definitely do not want to over bake your cheesecake. Over baking will likely form cracks through and on the top resulting in a dry vs. moist end result. I’m reminded that the creamiest cheesecake I ever had was the one we water bathed in our oven. To do so we just wrapped the bottom of the springform pan with foil and placed it in a small pan of water while it cooked. The extra moisture will treat you to an amazingly moist cheesecake. I’ll try this method on the next go of this recipe!

i. Time

Prep: About 1.5 hours, including 30 minutes for prep and 1 hour for baking. Most people prefer their cheesecake chilled, so cooling it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight is recommended!

ii. Ingredients

18 sheets (72 total)  graham crackers, crushed and divided
1 cup (2 sticks)   butter, melted (my Grandmother “Nanny” insisted on Falfurrias)
3 (8 ounce) packages  cream cheese
1 ½ cups  sugar
4  cage free eggs, separated and beaten
15 ounce can   pumpkin
2 teaspoons  ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon   ground ginger
½ teaspoon
   ground cloves

for the topping:
1 pint (16 ounces)   sour cream
4 tablespoons   sugar
1 teaspoon  vanilla

iii. What To Do

1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Making Crumble Topping2. Crush the graham crackers in a bowl by hand or you can place them in a Ziploc bag, seal, and crush with a rolling pin or simply by hand. Mix the butter into the crumbs and press it into the bottom of a spring form pan. Reserve enough of the crumbs to cover the top in step 8 below.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Making Sour Cream Topping3. Cream together the cream cheese, sugar, beaten egg yolks (not the whites yet!), the pumpkin and the 3 spices.

4. Hand fold-in the egg whites.

5. Pour everything into the spring form pan and bake for ~25 minutes at 375°F. I was using my gas oven and needed to add an additional 10-15 minutes for the cake to set.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Fresh From The Oven6. When done remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool a bit. We’re not done with the oven yet – increase the temperature to 475°F.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Sour Cream Topping7. While the cake is cooling lets make our topping by hand-stirring together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Pour this mixture on top of the cheese cake and return it to the oven to bake for 5 minutes at 475°F

Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Topping8. Remove the cheesecake from the oven, sprinkle on the remaining (reserved) buttery graham cracker crumbs from above and let it cool. I let my cheesecake rest on the bottom of the springform pan insert and chilled it in the fridge for a few hours until we were ready to cut it into slices and enjoy it!

A Slice Of Pumpkin Cheesecake

Yield: About 8-16 slices, depending on how hungry you are.

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe Scan

A Scan Of Mom’s Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

11/30/21


pumpkin dump cake

Pumpkin Dump Cake Recipe by Betty's Cook NookA Bit Of Dump Cake History

The folks at Epicurious describe the dump cake as “the worst name in the history of desserts.” I, on the other hand, snickered when the name first graced my being. In fact it was more of a snortle of sorts.

The year was 2005 and my Cousin Julie had emailed me the dump cake recipe below that she was impressed with. Being one of the early bathroom humor pioneers (poo-oneers?) I simply replied: “you know I’ll try this because it has the word DUMP in it!” Well that email got filed away with good intentions and sadly forgotten. This year when I was missing my Cousin I went digital dumpster diving into my old email account and a few clicks later the recipe floated to the surface (pun intended).

Flashback: Dump Cake

Before we dive into this recipe I was curious the glorious origins of the dump cake. While some online posts said the first dump cake would send us to 1980, others threw me off track saying the dump cake actually went by other names, including “wacky cake.” For my purposes my culinary etymological research is purely of “dump cake.”

The Los Angeles Times Economy Cook Book No. 5 Dump CakeAs can be seen by the Google Books Ngram Viewer let’s have a peek at the usage of dump cake over time. There it was – nestled on page 50 of 1917’s The Los Angeles Times Economy Cook Book No. 5: Practical and Economical Recipes by Skilled Cooks – this nugget for Dump Cake. Albeit the recipe instructions read more like a conventional cake (think more effort), the origins of the name take us back to when my Grandmother “Nanny” was 17. You can click this link and see for yourself! I can’t wait to let this useless trivia factoid rip at my next party!

What’s even more interesting is I discovered I lived at the trifecta of perfection – when word usage of dump cake and two sidekicks near and dear to my heart – “pac man” and “bean roll” – were in pure alignment. The year was 1979 and little did I know I was living the glory days. Who knows if this moment in time will rise again?
Google Books Ngram Viewer Dump Cake Pac Man Bean RollFoodie Tips

❤  I have to admit I was leery that this cake would come together. But just as the name implies the magic of the dump cake took over once it was in the hot oven and things began to mingle.

❤  Striving to curtail holiday overeating (which later proved to be a farce) we split the recipe into three greased 9″ round foil pans. I was nervous if they would turn out OK and they did! We gave two cakes to unsuspecting neighbors who said they enjoyed it greatly.

i. Time

Total prep: About 60 minutes.

ii. Ingredients

29 ounce can  Libby’s 100% pure canned pumpkin
12 ounce can  evaporated milk
cage free eggs
1 cup  sugar
1 teaspoon  salt
3 teaspoons  cinnamon
1 box  Duncan Hines classic yellow cake mix
1 cup  Texas pecans, chopped
¾ cup  unsalted butter, melted (my Grandmother “Nanny” insisted on Falfurrias)
to serve  whipped cream or ice cream (optional)

iii. What To Do

1. Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.

2. Mix the first six ingredients until well blended and pour the batter into a 9″ X 13″ greased pan.

Making Pumpkin Dump Cake

3. Sprinkle cake mix on top and then sprinkle that with pecans.

Pumpkin Dump Cake

4. Pour melted butter or margarine over top. Bake for 50 minutes.



Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream. My Cousin Julie topped her cake with dulce de leche and said it was really good!

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

Let’s have a peek at some vintage Libby’s pumpkin ads:

October 1986 Great Pumpkin Cookie Recipe

Libby's 1964 Pumpkin Pie Ad Typo

Libby's Pumpkin Life Magazine Ad 1950


pumpkin bread

Pumpking Bread

Fall Is In The Air

It’s hard to image Halloween without enjoying the time-tested taste of pumpkin.

Nowadays the season is ushered in with the arrival of anything pumpkin spice. Back in my younger days, however, pumpkin was simple, usually in the form of pie, flan, or bread.

Before we break into this bread recipe let’s have a look and some laughs at some vintage family Halloween pics from the good ol’ years! And before we watch the Hallo-slideshow, please click and listen to The Great Pumpkin Waltz by Vince Guaraldi. It sets the mood for pumpkin bread perfectly!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Foodie Tips

❤  I often get stumped on the material differences between baking powder and baking soda. This Bon Appetit article explores the yin and yang of these two essential baking ingredients.

❤  Fancy pumpkin? Take your tastebuds on a spin with my Mom’s other pumpkin bread that’s a kissing Cousin to this recipe… it includes raisins and pecans!

i. Time

Total prep: About 75 minutes

A Pumpkin Bread Recipe From Betty's Cook Nookii. Ingredients

4 | cage free eggs, beaten
3 cups | sugar
1 cup | salad oil
20-ounce can (2 ½ cups) | pumpkin
3 ½ cups | all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon | baking powder
2 teaspoons | baking soda
2 teaspoons | salt
½ teaspoon | ground cloves
1 teaspoon | ground allspice
1 teaspoon | ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon | ground nutmeg
⅔ cup | water
handful | pecans, chopped (optional)

iii. What to do

0. Preheat your oven to 350°F.

1. In a large bowl mix together well the eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin.

2. In a separate medium-sized bowl combine the 8 dry ingredients and add to the pumpkin mixture. Add the water and mix well.

A Pumpkin Bread Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

3. Pour the batter into 3 greased 8-inch loaf pans. You may have noticed that I snuck in some nuts (a.k.a Texas pecans) on top of two of the loaves. Just to keep me an honest Texan.

A Pumpkin Bread Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

4. Place the loaf pans in the oven and bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

A Pumpkin Bread Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Yield: 3 loaves. Each loaf will yield about 8-10 slices each!

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

Vintage Witch And Moon BeistleFancy Retro Halloween Decorations?

You’re not alone! Revisiting some of my old family photos has me wishing we still had our old decorations! You can still find some online at Vintage Beistle. Great stuff!


pumpkin bread

Pumpkin Bread Recipe From Betty's Cook NookThe Best Of Fall

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – when wearing flannel and smelling like patchouli is top of mind. Also top of mind? PUMPKINS!  🎃 There’s no better way to ring in fall’s greatness other than watching the fall favorite It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

The Peanuts gang were probably my best friends growing up. In a time before you could record TV I never missed a show. I remember sketching Snoopy on top of his doghouse… and funny, I never thought it was odd that Snoopy slept *on top* of his doghouse rather than in it. Childhood innocence.

While your pumpkin bread is baking, come back and watch the movie below – share it with your family and friends and celebrate the way we were… and the way we are with the best of fall!

Foodie Tips

  I halved this recipe and made 2 medium-sized loaves. If you’re gift-giving or a lover of loaves, go all the way!

  One small can pumpkin? I presumed it was a 15 ounce can.

  The recipe didn’t note it but I greased my loaf pans before adding the batter.

  This bread is most great served sliced and toasted with a schmear of Phildelphia Whipped Cream Cheese.

i. Time

Total prep: About 75 minutes (minus resting)

ii. Ingredients

3-⅓ cups | flour
3 cups | sugar
1 teaspoon | cinnamon
2 teaspoons | nutmeg
2 teaspoons | baking soda
1 teaspoon | salt
| cage free eggs, beaten
1 cup | oil
⅔ cup | water
15 ounces | canned pumpkin
¾ cup (2 small boxes) | raisins
¾ cup | chopped nuts (a.k.a. “pecans,” here in Texas)
to top | more pecans (optional)

Pumpkin Bread In The Works

iii. What to do

1. Measure the dry ingredients into a large bowl.

2. Add the eggs, oil, water, and pumpkin. Mix everything well.

3. Fold in the raisins and the pecans.

4. Pour the batter into two large or four small loaf pans and bake at 325°F until the bread tests done.

ENJOY

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

Pumpkin Bread Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Peanuts Cook Book Circa 1970One of my most cherished childhood items is this Peanuts cookbook. Originally printed in 1970 it still remains in my kitchen today, almost 50 years later!

This cookbook was not mine, originally… but at the magical age of 10 I was such a fanatic about The Peanuts Gang I was able to smooth talk this cookbook out of my neighborhood friend’s kitchen and into mine!

Pumpkin Bread

A Scan Of Mom’s Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Sous Chef Note: While acquainting myself with this recipe I noticed a credit to “Barbara Harris” and took to the internet to see if I could find out who she was. Turns out Barbara was a San Antonio restauranteur who ran some popular food establishments in San Antonio and Dallas.

I found reference to Barbara’s Pecan Pie Muffins in Karen Haram’s 50 Favorite “Good Taste” Recipes – these muffins are surely a culinary cousin to the Pumpkin Bread recipe above. Karen was a food author for the San Antonio Express-News for more than 30 years so you know these recipes have gotta be tasty… I have Karen’s Good Taste cookbook printed out for my culinary archives and you can score a digital copy of her fifty favorites here > Karen Haram’s 50 Favorite Recipes.


brandied pumpkin flan

Pumpkin Flan On Fire

This recipe is dedicated to my foster family in Italy ~ the hospitality
they shared was bigger than Texas! 
I’ll never forget us uniting over this dish during “Tex Mex Night” in Tuscany. 

~      ~

A flan on fire? 

You betcha! This is one of the most amazing recipes that made my Mom look more magician than chef.

When I was growing up this flan was typically served at Thanksgiving. When it was time for dessert the lights would be dimmed and Mom placed the flan in the middle of the table and lit the brandy. Widening eyes were aglow. Pure deliciousness on many levels!

I was on holiday in Italy when I made this recipe for the very first time; it was something that we had for dessert for “Tex Mex Night.” A memory for a lifetime.

i. ingredients

¾ cup | sugar
1 cup | canned or cooked pumpkin
1 cup | milk
1 cup | light cream (Coffee mate “Original” flavor works great)
6 | cage free eggs
½ cup | sugar
½ teaspoon | salt
2 teaspoons | vanilla extract
⅓ cup | brandy
boiling water
2 tablespoons | brandy (more brandy!)

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place a 8 ¼” round, shallow baking dish into the oven. See my Texas twist on the dish shape below!

1. In a large, heavy nonstick pan over medium heat, cook ¾ cup sugar until it melts and forms a light-brown syrup. Stir to blend and do not overcook!

2. Using pot holders remove the warmed baking dish from the oven and immediately pour the caramelized syrup into the dish. Quickly rotate the dish back and forth, to cover bottom and sides of the dish completely; this acts as a coat that will prevent the flan from sticking to the pan *and* it tastes delicious! Set the dish aside to cool. You may be surprised to hear that as the sugary syrup cools it will begin to crack inside the pan. This is totally normal and one of the hidden surprises of this recipe (the other surprise is when you set the flan on fire in step 7)!

Pouring the pumpkin flan into the prepared dish3. To make the pumpkin custard: In a medium saucepan combine the pumpkin, milk and cream, stirring until well blended. Heat over low heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan.

4. In a large bowl with a rotary beater, add eggs and beat them slightly. Add sugar, salt and vanilla. Gradually stir into the hot pumpkin-milk mixture and ⅓ cup brandy. Pour into the prepared baking dish.

5. In a large Pyrex measuring cup microwave some water until it begins to boil (I used 2 batches of 4 cups each). Set the flan-filled baking dish into a shallow aluminum pan into the oven that’s still set at 325°F. Pour the boiling water to a ½-inch level around the dish.

Pumpkin Flan Hot Out Of The Oven

6. Bake the flan 50 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the flan comes out clean. Remove the custard from the oven, let cool and refrigerate overnight. Let the pan filled with water cool then discard the water.

7. To serve, run a small spatula around the edge of the dish to loosen the flan. Invert the dish onto a shallow serving dish and shake gently to release. The caramel acts as a tasty sauce. Lower the lights in the room, gather your foodies, and at the table ignite 2 tablespoons of warm brandy and quickly pour it over the flan.

It was at this point back when I was in Italy that our Italian host “Fausto” grabbed a pitcher of water in case things got fiery. Oh, they did, but only in pure awesomeness. We were all impressed. Me? I was simultaneously surprised and proud. At this step you can whisper some magic chant or a funny limerick for full effect. Your foodies will admire you! Or at least fear you. :)

Serves: 8

foodie tips ~

  No 1 cup of light cream on hand? You can substitute ⅓ cup milk with ⅔ cup heavy cream. Worked like a charm!

  In step 4 above, make sure and slowly add the hot pumpkin-milk mixture into the egg mixture to prevent cooking of the eggs! This step works great with two people; a “stirrer” and a “pourer.”

  Stumped with your limerick? Try making your own with a little help from the limerick factory!

Texas Brandied Flan

Here’s a picture of my special Texas-shaped casserole dish of Step 2 (above).
I guess this makes this the Texas Two Step. (Ba Dum Tss!)

the original brandied pumpkin flan recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Recipe For Brandied Pumpkin Flan