Let the pumpkin cheesecake cheeseball roll! This pumpkin cheeseball is the only dessert you’ll need for Friendsgiving.
I don’t know about your house, but Thanksgiving is a strictly traditional affair in my family. If I decide to go rouge and say make, roast beef instead of turkey, or a cranberry tart instead of sauce, my dad insists they re-make the entire meal for themselves at home so they can have the proper meal. This is about having leftovers to make turkey-cranberry sandwiches, right?
Anyhow. Friendsgiving? That’s a different story.
Friendsgiving isn’t about tradition- it is about breaking bread with the family you chose, and filling the table with dishes that makes those dear to your heart happy.
So it makes sense that the meal, like your Friendsgiving family, is flexible. Open to try new things and modern twists on classic dishes.
This is where the pumpkin cheesecake cheeseball fits in.
I first created this cheeseball in honor of my friend Stephanie, who when I was telling her I was striving to create the perfect ball for Thanksgiving, said “pumpkin.” I said “cheesecake” and the rest was history. Since then I’ve served it at harvest parties, Thanksgiving, and in cheese classes. Besides burrata, it may arouse the most sighs in my classes, ever. Which, quite simply when you think about burrata, is a miracle.
Serve the ball at the end of the night for dessert, with gingersnaps or almond crisps, and a strong old fashioned in an etched high ball glass. When making this ball, note that you will need to chill the ball overnight. If you wait to roll the ball in toasted nuts, you can make this ball ahead, freeze it, then defrost and roll in pecans before serving.
I hope this cheeseball brings as much joy to your friends and family as it has mine!
makes 2 cheeseballs.
4 ounces cultured butter, room temperature
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cups white sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 2/3 cup toasted pecans
In a large mixing bowl or in a mixer with a paddle, cream the butter. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add half the cream cheese, mix until blended, and scrape down the sides of the bowl again. Then add the remaining cream cheese and sugar and blend again. Add the pumpkin and spices to the bowl, mix for five seconds, scrape down the sides of the bowl, then continue mixing until smooth.
Divide the cheeseball mix into two roughly spherical shapes, wrap in wax paper, and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning the balls will be firm enough so that you can shape them into spheres. Create balls, and before serving, press the outside with the pecans.
This was first posted in 2015 but stands as one of my favorite holiday recipes, ever. Prepare yourself for a gingerbread cheeseball recipe in a couple weeks!