Pumpkin Pecan “Cheese”cakeWritten by Karen on November 20th, 2009
Here we are at the final destination of our “Progressive Thanksgiving Dinner Party,” and as most of you know, it’s my favorite course: dessert! I am a freak for pumpkin – in the form of pie, cookies, muffins or cheesecake. I try to extend the ’season’ as long as I can just to savor its creamy goodness. But being the wholesome baker that I am, I am always finding new ways to adjust the sweetness (and the type,) as well as the crust. In keeping with our gluten free focus, I have mastered (!) a decadent pecan crust which pairs beautifully with the filling. Which, by the way, does not contain any cheese, but uses yogurt adding a refreshing tang with every bite…
Pumpkin Pecan “Cheese”cake – Serves 8-10
The filling for this recipe was inspired by Elana’s Pantry, a wonderful gluten-free blog with fantastic recipes. I have taken out the step of draining the yogurt by adding an egg, which helps to bind the filling. I also added a pecan crust, which uses teff flour. Teff is a gluten-free ancient grain (available at Whole Foods) loaded with iron and calcium. It has a nutty characteristic and is a lovely complement to the pumpkin and pecans.
1 cup pureed pumpkin, fresh* or canned
1/2 quart organic whole milk yogurt
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 free-range egg
1 TB vanilla extract
1 TB lemon juice
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup pecans
1/3 cup Sucanat or brown sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil, unrefined
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 cup teff flour
Preheat oven to 350°.
Mix ingredients in food processor and use ‘pulse’ mode until consistency resembles course meal.
Press mixture into bottom of lightly oiled 9-inch tart pan.
Bake 12-15 minutes, or until crust becomes a smidge darker. Allow to cool.
In food processor or blender, combine pumpkin, yogurt, maple syrup, egg, vanilla and lemon juice and process until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
Blend in pumpkin pie spice and salt.
Pour batter into pre-baked crust.
Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes, until firm.
Remove from oven, cool and serve.
*To make fresh pumpkin puree, cut a sugar pumpkin in half and scoop out seeds. (Save and bake.) Lightly brush inside with butter or olive oil and place face down on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 45 minutes until flesh is soft. Most pumpkins yield at least 2 cups, but you can freeze whatever you don’t use.