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Marbled Pumpkin Gingersnap Tart

Deb Perelman describes this stunning pumpkin pie tart as her go-to recipe for Thanksgiving. With its spiced ginger crust and marbled cheesecake filling, it's easy to see why.

From the book


This is my all-in-one Thanksgiving/autumn dessert, an ear­nest attempt to find a singular pumpkin dessert that would please my whole family. You see, I love pumpkin pie as much as any red-blooded American-it smells like autumn blew up in your kitchen, it tastes as cozy as a marshmallow-topped mug of cocoa in front of the fireplace-but I never like the proportions. The filling always feels a little thick to me, a little out of sync with the base, so I started making a thinner pie in a tart pan. When my toddler devel­ oped an affection for gingersnaps, I started using them in the pie base. And when my husband lamented that I only make pumpkin cheesecake once a year, when he’d like it once a month, I swirled in some cheesecake batter, the way you would on a marbled brownie. (You marble your brownies, don’t you?)

Together, this is the perfect marriage of pumpkin preferences, and also impatience-it comes together in no time. Because, to unforgiv­ably botch a quote from one of my favorite movies, when you find the pumpkin pie you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

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For the crust:
115g (about 16 biscuits) gingersnaps, coarsely broken
85g digestive biscuits
50g salted butter, melted
For the cheesecake batter:
115g cream cheese, well softened
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
For the pumpkin batter:
1 large egg
1 large egg white
300g (about ½ to ¾ of a 425g can) pumpkin puree
50g granulated sugar
50g brown sugar
½ tsp table salt
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
Few fresh gratings of nutmeg
240ml double cream

Essential kit

You will need: a 23cm tart tin with removable bottom.

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Make the crust: Preheat your oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/Gas 7. Remove any children sensitive to loud noises from the premises, and finely grind the gingersnaps and digestive biscuits in the processor. Add the melted butter, and process until the mixture is moistened. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 23cm tart tin with removable bottom. (I like to use the bottom and outer side of a measuring cup to help pack the crumbs into the base and neatly up the walls.) Place pan on rimmed baking sheet.

Make the cheesecake batter: Mix together the ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.

Make the pumpkin batter: Beat the egg and the egg white lightly in a large bowl. Whisk in the pumpkin, sugars, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Gradually whisk in the cream.

Assemble the tart: Pour the pumpkin batter into gingersnap-digestive crust. Dollop the cheesecake batter over pumpkin batter, then marble the two together decoratively with a knife. Try not to pierce the bottom crust as you do. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 180°C/fan 160°C / Gas 4 and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

To serve: Cool the tart completely on a rack, or in the fridge if you, like me, prefer it cold. Serve immediately, and refrigerate any leftovers. Theo­retically, it keeps for several days, but the crust will get a little soft on the bottom after day one.

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From the book: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

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