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Thankful for cheesecake?! Ok, I know that sounds ridiculously trite. Sure, I’m thankful for a copious amount of people/places/things more significant than cheesecake.  However, I do get a little “lunatic” when it comes to cheesecake.  So I truly am thankful to discover that I can bake my own never-ending supply of cheesecakey goodness!

Lunacy Exhibit A: I never, ever slice cheesecake!  Cheesecake is eaten directly from the plate it was plopped on with just a fork and a smile.
Lunacy Exhibit B: I eat in this barbaric fashion whilst hidden in my pantry to avoid sharing my delicious cheesecake.
Lunacy Exhibit C: I wholeheartedly consider cheesecake an acceptable breakfast meal.
Lunacy Exhibit D: I have threatened to inflict bodily harm or the dreaded stink eye on anyone who even contemplates eating my cheesecake.

Let’s keep this Gluten-Free Thanksgiving menu going with yet another pumpkin-themed dessert!

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Sour Cream Topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Be sure to have cream cheese & eggs at room temperature.

Gluten-Free Crust

1/2 cup pecans
25 Mi-Del GF Ginger Snap cookies
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 cup butter (melted)

In a food processor grind pecans, cookies, & rice crackers until crushed & crumbly in texture (resembling ground almond meal). Add brown & white sugar and butter. Mix thoroughly. Press crumbs against the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

Cheesecake Filling

3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/8 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
1 whole egg
4 egg yolks
3 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine pumpkin, 3/4 cup of white sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, mace, and 3 egg yolks. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Set pumpkin mixture aside.

Using a mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Slowly incorporate 3/8 cup (=1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp) of white sugar, 1 whole egg, 1 egg yolk, whipping cream, cornstarch, orange and vanilla extract. Mix well. Add pumpkin mixture and combine thoroughly. Add batter to springform pan. Bake in center of oven for 50 to 55 minutes at 350 degrees. I placed a pan filled with water on the rack beneath the cheesecake to eliminate cracking and maintain moistness. Remove cheesecake from oven and cool for at least 1/2 hour.

Sour Cream Topping

2 cups of sour cream (I used reduced fat)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons white sugar

Combine sour cream, vanilla extract, and white sugar. After cooling cheesecake (still in springform pan) for at least 1/2 hour, pour sour cream topping over cake and return to a 325-degree oven for 10 minutes.

Cool cheesecake for at least an hour before removing from pan. Refrigerate prior to serving.