Folks, this pumpkin cheesecake is amazing. I realize that we’re in a completely different season now and pumpkin isn’t exactly the epitome of winter, but like fashion rules that can be broken, I feel like we can break some of these seasonal food rules. Unlike the bourbon cheesecake I made last year, the various flavors of the cheesecake are kept separate, allowing them to meld together once they’re in your mouth. There are four layers total but contrary to how it looks, this dessert is super easy. The pictures below depict the step-by-step process to make things even easier: crust, bake crust, add cheese layer, bake cheese layer, cool, top with pumpkin, top with cream.
Things to note:
1. I created a gluten-free crust as an alternative to the graham cracker crust for all my gluten-free comrades (the pictures below depict the gluten-free crust).
2. I made this twice – once without forming a crust up the sides and once with a crust. Either way is fine but if you’re using a 9×13, stick to forming the crust at the bottom. Otherwise, it will be too difficult to cut once you’re ready to serve.
LAYERED PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE RECIPE AND INGREDIENTS
*recipe adapted from a family friend’s recipe; gluten-free crust my own recipe
Layer 1: CRUST LAYER(gluten free option below)
1 pack of graham crackers (about 24), crushed
1/3 c raw sugar*
1/2 c butter
Mix crackers, sugar and butter together. Press on the bottom of a 9×13 pan (I used a circular baking dish that was about 11.5″ in diameter). Bake at 350F for 10 minutes.
Layer 2: CREAM CHEESE LAYER
1/2 c raw sugar*
8 oz cream cheese
Beat sugar, eggs and cream cheese together. Pour over crust. Bake at 350F 20 minutes.
Layer 3: PUMPKIN LAYER
1 15oz can pure pumpkin
3 egg yolks, whisked
1/3 c raw sugar*
1/3 c milk
1/4 tsp salt (if using unsalted butter in the crust)
1 T cinnamon
1 envelope gelatin 1/4 c water
Combine pumpkin, yolks, sugar, milk, salt and cinnamon together in a saucepan. Cook until thick, about 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly (temperature should reach 150-160F).
Place gelatin in small bowl. Add in water and allow to sit until gelatin absorbs water. Add gelatin to pumpkin. Cool pumpkin mixture.
Layer 4: CREAM LAYER
1 c heavy whipping cream
1/4 c sugar
Whip cream and gradually add in sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form.
*you can use white sugar if you prefer
Once dish cools, layer with pumpkin. Smooth over. Add cream layer and smooth over. Refrigerate overnight or at least for 4 hours. Cheesecake is best eaten within 2-3 days.
GLUTEN FREE CRUST
3 T coconut flour
2 T buckwheat flour
6 T brown rice flour
1/2 c + 3 T ground almonds
6 T butter
1/3 c + 3 T raw sugar
2 T honey
Spread on the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes or until crust turns golden.
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