Can you believe it’s almost Thanksgiving? I don’t know about you, but I've been scrambling to put together a menu. While I am definitely looking forward to dusting off some of the old family recipes, I also thought it might be fun to change things up a bit and include a recipe that fuses my two favorite holiday desserts: cheesecake and pumpkin pie. In addition to being visually stunning, this dessert is also vegan and gluten-free, which means it can accommodate a variety of dietary lifestyles.
There are so many different ways to make a vegan cheesecake. For this recipe I chose So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk yogurt to impart a rich and creamy consistency. In place of eggs I used silken tofu (for a more firm cheesecake, consider using extra firm tofu). I also added pecan flour to the gluten-free graham cracker crust to give it a rich nutty flavor that will have your whole family picking the crumbs off their plates!
Have you ever baked a cheesecake that looked perfect in the oven but then mysteriously developed cracks the size of the grand canyon after cooling? It happens to the best of us! The reason for this is the drastic change in temperature. To prevent this from happening, prior to cooking wrap your springform pan in foil and place it on a baking sheet containing about a 1-inch of water. The steam will cook the cheesecake evenly and prevent it from cracking. After your cheesecake is done baking, turn off your oven and open the door slightly. Allow the cheesecake to cool inside the oven for about one hour before placing in the refrigerator to chill. I recommend making your cheesecake the night before to allow it to set. Plus, that’s one less thing you have to do on the big day! Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving with friends and family and hope you enjoy this recipe!
PUMPKIN SWIRL CHEESECAKE RECIPE
1 3/4 cups gluten-free graham cracker crumbs
1 cup pecan flour
3 tablespoons earth balance or other vegan butter
2 - 8 ounce containers vegan cream cheese (we used Trader Joes brand)
1 1/4 cup organic sugar
1 pound silken tofu (use extra firm tofu for firmer cheesecake)
1 cup So Delicious Dairy Free unsweetened coconut milk yogurt
1 - 15 ounce can organic pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh-squeezed
1 tablespoon vegan egg replacer ( we used Enger-e)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl add graham cracker crumbs, pecan flour, and earth balance. Mash with fork until well combined.
2. Pat crust into 9-inch springform pan evenly over base and slightly up the edges of pan. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes until edges are golden brown. Remove and let cool while making filling.
1. In a blender carafe add vegan cream cheese, organic sugar, tofu, coconut milk yogurt, lemon juice, egg replacer, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Blend on high until totally smooth.
2. Pour 1 cup filling into bowl and set aside. This will be used for swirling
3. Add the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Blend on high until all ingredients are well incorporated and smooth.
1. Pour pumpkin filling over crust. Spoon dollops of plain cheesecake filling in a circle over the top of pumpkin filling. Swirl together using the tip of a knife.
2. Wrap springform pan in foil and place on 13 x 9-inch metal baking pan. Add water to pan to a depth of 1-inch. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until the center of cheesecake barely moves.
3. After cheesecake has finished baking turn off oven and crack the door. Let cheesecake cool inside the oven for 1 hour. Remove and continue to cool at room temperature. Place in refrigerator and let chill for 8 hours before serving. Enjoy!