This weekend marked the beginning of fall and a girlfriend and I decided to jump in head first with a bunch of delicious fall inspired food. Besides sweaters, boots and switching back to red wine, nothing quite says fall like something pumpkin. A fellow foodie, she and I spend far too much time throughout each day drooling over food porn. Most of the items she sends are accompanied by “you can figure how to make this, right?” Being gluten free it’s not often I can indulge in cheesecake thanks to the common graham cracker crust, but with a newly discovered gluten free graham cracker, nothing else needed to be adapted. This was front runner to segue into the season of warm days, crisp nights and 7 hours of Scott Hansen every Sunday on RedZone.
- 1 15oz can Pumpkin Puree
- Gluten Free Graham Crackers – enough for 1.5 cups crumbs when blended
- 3/4 cup pecans
- 1 T Light Brown Sugar
- 6 T Unsalted Butter, melted
- 16oz Cream Cheese, at room temperature
- 1.5 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1.5 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- 1 T Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 T Vanilla extract
Crank up that oven to 500 degrees. Take a look inside first to make sure you hadn’t left anything in there for summer storage (or is that just me?).
In a food processor, break up your graham crackers and pulse several times until they’ve been reduce to coarse crumbs. Add in the pecans and brown sugar and pulse some more.
You’re trying to get a nice crumbly texture, not something so powdered that you could confuse it for brown sugar. Drizzle in the melted butter, pulse a few more times to mix, and grab your springform pan. Scoop the buttery, crumbly, nutty goop into the pan and begin pressing it down with a spatula. With your (very clean!) hands, work the crust batter (dough? I can’t decide what this is) into the edges of the pan for full coverage.
Pop it in the oven for 5-10 mintues, until it’s fragrant and beginning to brown. Your oven is at 500 degrees. Do not forget this or you will be remaking this crust in about 12 minutes.
Remove the crust to cool completely, and turn your oven down to 250.
In a large bowl, or a stand mixer if you’ve been so blessed in this life, blend your cream cheese on low until it becomes super soft and blended. Add in the pumpkin puree and mix it well, scraping the sides.
(This is the part where I’d show you all of the steps of blending together your ingredients. I want to give you a good reason as to why there are not more pictures – “They insult your intelligence!” “My camera was broken!” “Some things are better left to the imagination!” – but the truth is, I was far more concerned with my company and mimosa consumption than I was with taking a ton of pictures. If you think that pictures of something blending in a stand mixer trumps champagne for lunch, I’m not really sure how you got here in the first place.)
In a separate bowl, combine your sugar, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Add slowly to the pumpkin creamcheese and blend well.
Begin adding one egg at a time, ensuring each is well blended. While continuing to blend, fold in the heavy cream, lemon juice and vanilla.
Slowly pour the batter into your cooled crust and pop it in the oven.
Low and slow is the name of the game. Depending on the size of your springform pan the cooking times may vary. I had a 9″ pan and it was done in approximately 2 hours.
Cool 2-24 hours before serving. If you can stand it.
Good luck, though. Just look at that.
In the meantime, make your praline topping. Really, it’s easy!
- 1 Cup Pecans – toasted
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1 T Vanilla
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 T Corn Starch
Toast the pecans at about 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes, just until you can smell them. Set aside to cool. In a small saucepan, bring to a boil your cream, sugar, and vanilla, whisking often. Add your cornstarch, continuing to blend quickly. Chop pecans. Add to liquid and remove from heat. As long as you brought the cornstarch up to temp (boiling, even for a moment) it should thicken as it cools.
Is the cheesecake cooled? Cool enough? Slice it up and serve with warm pecan praline syrupy goodness.
This recipe was adapted from and inspired by this one over at delish.com. So just in case you don’t trust me, you should probably trust a site that goes by “Delish”.