This is an all-American take on everyone's favourite dessert. Fresh vanilla adds its distintive warmth that comes through the creamy filling.
First prepare the pumpkin puree for the filling.
Remove seeds and stringy centre from the pumpkin, and then peel away the skin. Cut into small cubes. Heat the butter in a frying pan, add the pumpkin with 25g of the sugar and cook for around 10 minutes until soft. Blitz in a food processor until smooth and allow to cool.
Next for the base, preheat the oven to 200c. Whisk the egg whites in a bowl until soft peak; gradually fold in the caster sugar, then the egg yolks. Sift the cornflour and the flour together over the mixture then fold in.
Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Spread the sponge mixture out to an area approx 30cm square. Bake for 7-10 min until golden brown, allow to cool then peel off the paper, lower the oven to 170c.
For the cheesecake you will need a 23-24cm cake tin, 6cm deep. Cut out a round from the sponge base to fit exactly inside the tin. For the filling, beat the mascarpone, crème fraiche, soured cream, 50g of the remaining sugar, the vanilla seeds and 2 egg yolks together in a bowl. Stir in the pumpkin puree.
Whisk the 2 egg whites in another bowl until softly stiff. Gradually whisk in the remaining 25g sugar and gently fold into the pumpkin mix. Pour the filling over the sponge base in the tin and bake for 40-50 minutes until lightly firm on top.
Leave to cool and then chill in the tin. Run a knife around the edge and remove the cheesecake.
Cut into a wedge and serve with a light dusting of icing sugar and pecan ice cream.
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