Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake

I got this from Sugarcrafter. I made a couple small changes.. and I felt like mine was a tad underdone. It was soft in the middle. But still pretty yummy!

For the graham cracker crust:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 7 Tbsp butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 2 pounds cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Crush 2 cups worth of graham crackers into a medium bowl. Stir in the ginger, and then stir in the melted butter so that the mixture becomes moist.

Press the crust into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9″ springform pan. Stick the pan in the freezer while you make the cheesecake batter so that the butter will firm up the crust.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the sugars and spices. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the sour cream and pumpkin.

Pour the batter into the graham cracker crust and smooth out on the top.

Bake 15 minutes, and then open the oven door and lower the temperature to 200 degrees. Close the door and continue baking for about an hour longer or until the edges of the cheesecake are set but the center still wiggles when the pan is shaken. Cool the cheesecake on a rack and then refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.

Serve drizzled with warm caramel sauce.

Pumpkin Muffins/Cupcakes

The inspiration for this recipe came from this Vanilla Bean Cake which was so yummy (particularly frosted with Nutella and topped with fresh strawberries) that I wanted to recreate it into some kind of pumpkin creation. Thanks to some dumb luck of accidentally leaving out the coconut oil they actually turned out yummy.

In a blender or food processor combine:

1 1/2 cups white beans (either use canned beans and rinse them or soak dry beans overnight and cook in the morning)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
6 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp vanilla creme stevia
1/3 cup honey

Blend until smooth and add:

1/3 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp salt (only a 1/4 tsp if using canned beans)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg

Blend again

Pour into 12 muffin cups and bake at 325 degrees for around 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted come out clean.

Top with Elana's Cream Cheese Frosting for the cupcake version.

4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
3 Tbsp agave
Half and Half or Cream

Beat cream cheese and agave until smooth and add enough liquid for desired consistency.

*This would make a great pumpkin cake if done in a square pan and topped with frosting.

Apple Butternut Squash Soup

This recipe is actually Annie Ashton's grandma's and it is one of my favorite fall soups. At the bottom I will post some of the changes I made to make it dairy-free and gluten-free.

(This is for half of the original recipe which serves 10-12 people and my little family could never get through that much soup.)

1/2 cube sweet butter
3 whole slices of white bread
2 whole apples
2 1/2 lbs butternut squash
1/2 medium onion
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp tarragon
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
salt and white pepper to taste

Peel, core and chunk the apples
Peel and chop the squash (Annie cuts the entire squash into 1 1/2 inch slices then cuts off the rind)
Slice the onions
Melt butter in a soup pot over a low flame.
Saute the onions for a few minutes and then add squash and apples and saute until tender
Cut bread slices into cubes and add to the mixture
Add chicken stock, terragon and salt and white pepper to taste
Bring to a boil then cover and simmer over a low flame until squash and apples are fully cooked, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and food process until almost creamy. Stir in the cream. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

***Gluten-free, Dairy-free changes***
A few Tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 medium onion
2 - 2 1/2 lbs butternut squash
2 apples
4 cups chicken stock
1 tsp tarragon
1 cup white beans (already cooked)
1/2 - 1 cup fresh Apple Cider (or more cooked apple)
Salt and white pepper to taste

Saute onion in olive oil for a few minutes.
Add squash and apples and saute until tender.
Add chicken stock, tarragon and white beans.
Bring to a boil and let simmer until squash and apples are cooked through.
Blend in batches
Add 1/2 to 1 cup Apple Cider (if using) depending on the sweetness you're looking for.
Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish with a swirl of light coconut milk and cilantro leaf.