This is my take on an American favourite: pumpkin pie. It is a perfect example of how vegetables can work well in desserts. Roasting the pumpkin or squash intensifies its flavour.

Serves 6-8, Prep: 30 minutes, Cook: 1 hour 15 minutes

400g pumpkin or squash (prepared weight)
125g melted butter
200g digestive biscuits
50g ground pecan nuts
25g finely chopped stem ginger
400g mascarpone
250g ricotta
100g light brown sugar
4 eggs
100ml double cream
2 tbsp maple syrup, plus extra for drizzling
1 tbsp flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground mace

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Slice the pumpkin into wedges. Place these on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, or until the pumpkin is really tender. Leave to cool slightly, then purée into the mixer bowl with the fruit and vegetable strainer on speed 4.
  2. Grease a 24 cm spring-form tin with 25 g melted butter. Finely grind the digestive biscuits in the blender on chop speed until finely ground. Stir in the remaining melted butter. Chop the pecan nuts and stem ginger in the blender on stir speed with the aid of the pulse button.
  3. Mix with the digestive biscuits and butter, then press into the base of the tin and chill.
  4. Mix the remaining ingredients into the pumpkin purée with the flat beater on speed 4 until well-blended and smooth. Pour into the tin and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 130°C/gas mark 1/2. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the filling feels firm to the touch. Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake to cool in the oven. Slice into wedges and serve with a drizzle of maple syrup.