Forget all the rules of baking cheesecake when you make this pumpkin Basque cheesecake! Traditionally baked at a high heat for a burnt exterior and creamy, rich interior!
What is Basque cheesecake?
Basque cheesecake is a cheesecake from the Basque region of Spain. Who would have thought that La Vina. a small restaurant in San Sebastian, would create such a stir when they made this charred cheesecake over thirty years ago! Making Basque cheesecake goes against all of the usual rules that come into play when making cheesecake, and that's what makes it fun.
"Burning" this cheesecake is encouraged and creates a deep golden caramelized color but baking at a high heat, 400 degrees, keeps the inside rich and creamy!
If you tend to always have a regular pumpkin cheesecake for the holidays, try it this way and I bet family and friends will love the presentation and difference in textures.
FAQ'S ABOUT MAKING BASQUE CHEESECAKE
Do I need to use a springform pan? No, just make sure to layer your parchment paper so it's strong enough to pull up the cheesecake once it has cooled. I recommend giving the pan a light spray with oil .
How do I know if my cheesecake is done? After 1 hour the cheesecake should have developed a nice golden color, but keep an eye on it from the 50 minute mark as it can over-burn quickly. The cheesecake should not seem wet in the center but the whole thing should "jiggle" when gently shaken.
How do I serve my Basque cheesecake? The cheesecake should be served at room temperature and I highly recommend making a day ahead and letting it set in the fridge overnight. If you do this, keep it in the pan and parchment paper until you're ready to slice it. Use a clean wet knife to cut a perfect slice and you can add a dollop of whipped cream on top or a drizzle of maple syrup.
Do I need to use a water bath to bake this cheesecake? Usually I would always say yes for a slow cooking cheesecake, but because Basque cheesecake gets baked at a high heat, I didn't use a water bath and I didn't have any issues.
Does this cheesecake have a strong pumpkin flavor? No it does not. You actually taste more of the spices and cinnamon with just a slight pumpkin flavor. It's not as strong as. regular pumpkin pie.
Tips for making this cheesecake
- Make a day ahead and let its et overnight in the fridge
- Spray the pan lightly to help the parchment paper stick
- Use two pieces of parchment paper overlapping one another to create a secure layer and to prevent any leaks
- Make sure the parchment paper reaches about 1-2 inches over the height of the pan as the cheesecake will rise up like a soufflé'
- Use a wet knife and clean it between each slice for a neater presentation
- Store leftovers in the fridge but bring to room temperature before serving
- Serve with a dollop of whipped vanilla cream on top