Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan Hazelnut Crust

I started my Thanksgiving baking and cheesecake is the perfect dessert to make ahead of schedule because it keeps well in the fridge and even freezes nicely.  This recipe is refined sugar and gluten free, but no one will be able to tell the difference.  I make a hazelnut pecan crust with a mostly cheesecake topping.  Just a hint of pumpkin takes this traditional dessert to a holiday dish.  Rich, elegant, and delicious.  Enjoy!

So delicious it's sinful
Pecan Hazelnut Crust Ingredients:
3/4c hazelnut meal
1c chopped pecans, processed in a food processor until flour-like consistency
pinch sea salt
4 1/2tbs melted butter

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling Ingredients:
4-8oz packages full fat cream cheese at room temp (very important!)
So delicious Anthony had this for breakfast!
1/3c agave nectar
1/4c sour cream at room temp (optional)
2tbs coconut flour (optional)
1-15oz can pumpkin puree
2tbs pumpkin pie spice
1tbs vanilla extract
1/2tsp salt
4 large eggs at room temp

1. Preheat your oven to 350F.  In a large bowl, mix hazelnut meal, pecan meal, salt and butter.  Press into the bottom of a 9" springform pan with your fingers and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and agave nectar on low speed.  Mix in flour, if using (do not overmix).  Add pumpkin puree, pie spice, vanilla, and salt.  Mix until smooth.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each is combined.
3. Pour filling into the springform pan and gently smooth the top.  Place in the oven, turn oven temp down to 300 and bake for 45 minutes.  Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake sit for 2 hours (do not open the oven at all during this entire process!).
4. Remove, cool, cover, and place in the fridge overnight.

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