Pumpkin Cheesecake, Made Gluten Free Just For The Holidays

Who doesn’t love a slice of thick, creamy, cheesecake?  I mean, they even have a restaurant chain named after this decadent dessert after all!  It graces almost every dessert menu in some form, either plain, with fruit, New York Style, or flavored.  It comes in chocolate, vanilla, lemon, swirled, cookied, and just about any other way you can think of to make it.

In the autumn, the pumpkin prevails.  Americans have kind of an obsession with pumpkin, from pumpkin flavored coffee, to pumpkin pie.  An alternative to pumpkin pie for cheesecake lovers everywhere is pumpkin cheesecake.  The marriage of the tangy, rich, cheesecake and the sweet pumpkin pie flavors is a match made in heaven.  If you can’t decide which dessert is the best, combine both into one single ethereal dessert.

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PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE

CRUST

  • 2 Cups of Gluten-Free Gingersnap Crumbs (there are several varieties of gluten free gingersnaps available in the market *see below)
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar (I use organic cane sugar, but white sugar will do)
  • 6 Tablespoons Melted Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Pecans, finely chopped

Place one rack in the center of the oven, and one at the lowest position.  Preheat the oven to 375.

Process enough gluten free gingersnap cookies in a blender or food processor to equal 2 cups of crumbs (I needed about 1 1/2 packages of Pamela’s gluten free gingersnap cookies).  Stir in sugar, chopped pecans, and melted butter.  Mix together with a fork until well blended.

Press the mixture firmly over the bottom and sides of a 10 inch springform pan with the sides attached.  Bake the crust until golden, 6 to 9 minutes.  Set crust aside to cool.

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Three brands of gluten free ginger snap cookies: MI-DEL, Pamela's, and Annie's brands.

Three brands of gluten free ginger snap cookies: MI-DEL, Pamela’s, and Annie’s brands.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325, and place a large roasting pan filled with water on the bottom rack of the oven to provide moisture for the cheesecake as it bakes.  This will help to prevent severe cracking of the cheesecake, but finished cheesecake may have some cracking even with the additional moisture.

FILLING

  • 1 15 ounce Can of Pumpkin Puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Ginger
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Ground Cloves
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Allspice
  • 5 8-ounce packages of Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature (2 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 1/3 Cups of Sugar (organic cane sugar or white sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 5 Large Eggs
  • 2 Large Egg Yolks

Stir together pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice.  Set aside.

Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer set on medium until creamy.  Add sugar, and vanilla, and mix for about 1 minute on medium, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to incorporate all of the cream cheese. Turn the mixer speed to low, and add the whole eggs and egg yolks one at a time, beating each until it is fully incorporated, scraping the bowl with the spatula after each addition.

Add the pumpkin mixture to the cream cheese mixture, and blend on medium speed until everything is evenly mixed, and smooth, scraping the bowl frequently, about 2 minutes.

Pour the pumpkin/cheese mixture over the crust and bake the cake on the center rack over the pan of water for approximately 1 hour 45 minutes, or until the top is set, and a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Turn the oven off, partially open the oven door, and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for 1 additional hour.  After the hour is up, move the cake to a cooling rack to cool completely.

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TOPPING

  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar (organic cane sugar or white sugar)
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Pecans
  • Whole Pecans for Garnish

While the cheesecake is cooling, mix the sour cream and the sugar together in a small bowl.  Stir until sugar dissolves.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Spread the sour cream mixture evenly over the surface of the cake, and sprinkle the chopped pecans on the top.  Place the whole pecans evenly around the edge of the cake.  Bake the cheesecake to set the topping for 7 to 10 minutes.  Cool the cake in the pan on a rack.

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Refrigerate the cheesecake, covered, overnight.  Before releasing the sides of the pan, run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake to make sure the crust is not sticking to the pan.  Remove the sides, and serve.

Makes:  14 to 16 Servings

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**For photography purposes I removed the sides of the pan when spreading the topping, but I replaced the pan sides when baking, to set the sour cream.

May the beauty of the holidays be with you this season.  Indulge yourself a little and savor this delectable dessert that is a mixing of two classic desserts into one, New York Style cheesecake, and pumpkin pie.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Marcie/Pepperchick

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