Several years ago when I was planning Thanksgiving dinner, I felt bored and uninspired by the prospect of pumpkin pie. For one thing, I can never get my pie crusts to turn out quite as delicious as my grandmother's. For another, I don't like having to cook something just for the sake of ritual. And finally, I actually prefer sweet potato pie to pumpkin but then I didn't want to forgo a delicious recipe for mashed sweet potatoes as a side dish.
Happily I stumbled across a recipe from Gourmet for pumpkin cheesecake with bourbon sour cream topping. It suggests pumpkin pie flavors with a new twist. And the bourbon sour cream topping, well, need I say more?
Now I make it almost every year for the holidays not because I have to but because it is so good and everyone loves it. It has to be made the day ahead so that frees up your time on the big day. If you are really frazzled, lick the bowl where you made the bourbon sour cream topping. Or just have a shot of bourbon.