With Thanksgiving and the holidays approaching, I always get excited about decorating, entertaining, and making special treats. I don’t cook a lot of desserts during the rest of the year, so this is a chance to have fun, get creative, and serve something really tasty. Baking always reminds me of my mom. Learning how to use the measuring cups, sifting flour, and breaking out the old Hamilton Beach mixer ~ there is something very comforting about it and,of course, it makes the house smell incredible. It’s fun to have company arrive and the first thing out of their mouths is “Wow, whatever you’re making sure smells great.” I always laugh at that commercial where the woman is lighting apple scented candles to fool her guests into thinking she baked an apple pie. JEEZ- why not just bake for real?
We are big lovers of cheesecake in our house. This is a Thanksgiving spin on a traditional cheesecake and gluten-free to boot! You may always use regular graham crackers for the crust, but I enjoy the g-free version just as well and they are usually available at Whole Foods or other specialty grocery stores. Enjoy & Happy Thanksgiving.
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake
- 3/4 cup crushed gluten free graham crackers
- 3/4 cup ground almonds
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp butter
In food processor grind almonds (still slightly chunky – not into fine meal), add all the other ingredients and process together. Pat this mixture in the bottom of a 10″ springform pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Watch for burning! Allow to cool completely.
- 1 – 8oz Neufchatel cheese (low-fat cream cheese)
- 8 oz mascarpone
- 3 – 8oz cream cheese
- 1/2 cup plus 2 TB of organic sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup canned pumpkin or fresh sugar pie pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice ( I used cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, & cloves)
In a mixer, blend Neufchatel, mascarpone, cream cheese and sugar until creamy, add eggs one at a time (blending well after each addition), add the pumpkin and blend thoroughly. Should be light and creamy. Spread over cooled crust and bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, then lower temperature to 300 degrees and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes. Cool, refrigerate overnight.