2) Remove the crust from the refrigerator, and allow it to rest at room temperature until it's warm enough to work with, 10 to 30 minutes, depending on how long it's been refrigerated.
3) Flour your work surface, and roll the crust into a 13" round. Transfer it to a pie plate that's at least 9" wide and 1 1/2" deep; a giant spatula works well for this task.
4) Gently settle the crust into the plate, and crimp the edges.
5) To make the cheesecake filling: Combine the room-temperature cream cheese and sugar, beating slowly until the mixture is fairly smooth. It may appear grainy, or a few lumps may remain; that's OK.
6) Stir in the egg, vanilla, and ginger, if you're using it.
7) Spoon the filling into the pie crust.
8) To make the pumpkin filling: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt, and spices.
9) Add the pumpkin, cream or evaporated milk, and eggs, and whisk gently until smooth. (You don't want to beat a lot of air into this mixture; just be sure it's thoroughly combined.)
10) Gently spoon the pumpkin filling atop the cheesecake layer, filling within 1/4" of the top of the crust. Note: Do this carefully at first, so as to not disturb the cheesecake layer; once you've covered the cheesecake, you can be less careful.
11) Bake the pie for 15 minutes.
12) Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F, and continue to bake for 40 to 45 minutes, covering the edges of the pie with a crust shield or aluminum foil if they seem to be browning too quickly. The pie is done when it looks set, but still wobbles a bit in the center when you jiggle it. If you have a digital thermometer, the pie will register 165°F at its center when it's done. If using pecans add them after you reduce oven temperature or you may even add them after removing pie from oven.
13) Remove the pie from the oven, allow it to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate it until serving time. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream flavored with a pinch of ginger and teaspoon of vanilla.
Yield: 10 to 12 rich servings.
Note: This recipe requires a 1 1/2" deep dish pie plate. If you have a more shallow pan all the pumpkin filling will not fit. Bake the extra in a small baking dish and serving as a pudding.
This is a King Arthur Flour Recipe with a bit of Linda touch.