Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Great Debate: Pumpkin Pie or Pumpkin Cheesecake?

Which one should I make for the big day? Here are your choices...

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Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Pecan Crust

This pie is delicious, and no one will EVER miss the eggs. You can use this filling with your favorite home made pie crust, or store bought. I made this for Thanksgiving 2009 and made a home made cinnamon pecan crust (recipe below).  Because I didn't have clove, I used 1/2 tsp cinnamon PLUS from Pampered Chef, which has a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. I also used candied pecans for the top. From: Joy of Vegan Baking

Pumpkin Pie
1 pie crust (recipe below)
12 ounces silken tofu
2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup light brown sugar, fimly packed
1/4 cup cornstarch or 1/4 cup arrowroot
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon clove
16 toasted pecans, for topping

Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 55 mins

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2 Blind bake your pie crust.
3 Blend together the pumpkin, tofu maple syrup, brown sugar, cornstarch, and spices until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
4 Pour into prepared crust, and smooth top of filling with a spatula.
5 Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until crust is lightly browned and the outermost inch of the filling is set.
6 Don't worry is the center is still soft, it will continue to firm up as the pie cools.
7 Gently press the toasted pecan halves into the filling. I did 2 concentric circles.
8 Cool to room temperature and then chill until set, 1-2 hours.
9 Can be served chilled or at room temperature.
Cinnamon Pecan CRUST
This crust is magical! Perfect for pumpkin pie!! Also from Joy of Vegan Baking
3/4 cup pecan halves
3/4 cup quick-cooking oat
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 25 mins

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Lightly spray a 9 inch pie plate with non stick spray.
3. Toast pecans on cookie sheet for 7 - 10 mintues, or until the smell of nuts fills the kitchen.
4. Combine oats, flour, toasted pecans, cinnamon and salt in food processor or blender, and pulse until mixture becomes a coarse meal.
5. Pour in oil and maple syrup and pulse until wet and dry are just combined.
6. (I used a blender to pulse the dry, and then mixed in the oil and syrup by hand in a bowl so it wouldn't get stuck in the bottom of the blender).
7. Press the mixture into a prepared pie plate. I like to use the bottom of a glass to press the crust down evenly on the bottom and sides.


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I tried this recipe out last Friday...

Pumpkin Cheesecake (basic recipe from the Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook):

1 ½ cups vegan graham cracker crumbs (about 12 full crackers)
¼ cup vegan margarine, melted (Earth Balance)

2 (8-ounce) containers tofu cream cheese
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon rum extract** (yum)
1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
3⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice
3⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly oil an 8-inch springform pan or coat with nonstick spray.
Place the crumbs directly into the pan, add the melted margarine and toss with fork to combine.
Press the crumbs evenly against the bottom and side of the pan and set aside.

Place the tofu cream cheese in a food processor or Kitchen Aid and process until smooth.
Add the pumpkin and process until blended.
Add the sugar, rum extract, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg and process until well blended.
Spread the filling evenly into the prepared crust.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until firm.
**Turn off the oven and allow cheesecake to cool in the oven for 30 minutes to an hour without opening the oven door. I really like this tip, NO Cracks on top at all!!
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely at room temperature.
Refrigerate for several hours before serving. Great to make this the day before

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I really liked the RUM extract flavor in the cheesecake, but I really like the pecan crust from the regular pumpkin pie!  Maybe I'll combine the best of both? WHAT DO YOU THINK?? ^_^

1 comment:

  1. I was having this same debate with myself, so I decided I'm actually going to make both! Hope there are lots of pumpkin lovers in the midst :)

    I am bookmarking this for that pecan crust, holy moly amazing!