Today I’ve got a tasty new recipe for you that happens to be the final installment in our blogger #RealFoodHoliday progressive dinner series! I don’t know about you, but I’ve personally never been a fan of pumpkin pie (is anyone really?), but I do LOVE some pumpkin cheesecake. I think this is such a great update to the traditional dessert we’ve all seen year after year, and with the pecan crust you can easily accommodate any gluten-free guests you might be entertaining.
Before we dive into the recipe though, I’m excited to share what this whole holiday progressive dinner thing is all about. A few of us food bloggers thought it would be a fun idea to take turns sharing a different real food recipe that you could add to your holiday table this year. And since I happen to be the last one on the list, here is a little summary of what’s been featured so far:
- Deliciously Organic: Apricot Zingers
- Mama and Baby Love: Roasted Red Beet and Arugula Salad
- Simple Green Smoothies: Pumpkin Spice Green Smoothie
- Super Healthy Kids: Wild Rice Stuffing
- Keeper of the Home: Rustic Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Weelicious: Vegan Whipped Coconut Sweet Potatoes
- Once a Month Meals: Cranberry Maple Orange Pork Chops
- $5 Dinners: Rosemary Maple Glazed Turkey Breast
- Kitchen Stewardship: Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies
- 100 Days of Real Food: Pumpkin Cheesecake (This dessert recipe of course!) :)
- The Fresh 20: Apple Crumble
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan Crust
For the Crust
- 2 cups pecans plus more for garnish if desired
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter softened
For the Cheesecake Filling
- 1 pound cream cheese softened, 2 - 8 ounce blocks
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice found in the baking aisle
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
For the Whipped Cream Topping
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a food processor, process the pecans and salt together to the consistency of coarse crumbs. You could also chop by hand. Mix in the softened butter until the crust mixture comes together.
Using your fingers, press the pecan crust into the bottom and sides of a pie pan until it's in one even layer. It helps if you get your fingers wet first. Bake the crust by itself until it turns a rich brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. When it's done, remove it from the oven and turn the temperature down to 350 degrees F.
Meanwhile, use an electric mixer to beat together the cream cheese and maple syrup until smooth. Add in the pumpkin pie spice and then one by one, add each of the eggs. Lastly, add the pumpkin puree and beat together just until mixed.
Pour the cream cheese mixture into the baked pie crust and stick it in the oven on 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Lower the heat to 325 and bake until the edges of the cheesecake are puffed and begin to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes more. Put the pie in the fridge and let it cool completely for several hours before adding the whipped cream.
To make the whipped cream, use an electric mixer to beat the cream and syrup together until fluffy. Use a pastry bag or cookie press with decorating tips to decorate the pie. See the picture just below for how I used the whipped cream to cover up some cracks in the surface! Garnish with chopped pecans if desired.
We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.