After a long summer absence, I'm back to celebrate my favourite season. I am one of the pumpkin-obsessed, piling on sweaters and dark lipstick and making googly eyes at the fall leaves. The whole world changes colour, the air is crisp, the food is delicious, and everything is good. Two of my absolute favourite holidays are in October - Thanksgiving and, today, Halloween.
Since May, I have been eating a medically prescribed low carb diet, and the inspiration to bake and cook spectacular things has been lacking. For Thanksgiving, though, I knew I would be surrounded by some of my favourite foods - Pumpkin pie? Pumpkin ice cream? Pumpkin tarts? Pumpkin fudge? - and I needed a plan of attack. I tried to create a no-crust, low carb version of my mom's pumpkin pie, but something about the flavour was too off and just didn't work. Then, however, I created this slice of heaven, and it carried me through two Thanksgiving dinners, earning rave reviews from even the carb-lovers in the audience. This week was my sister-in-law's birthday, and I was dying to make this recipe again before October (and Halloween, and, therefore, pumpkin season) were over, so I baked another and brought it as my contribution, where it was very positively received again.
I only call this recipe a pie because I baked it in a pie dish instead of a springform pan, since I don't own one and am fairly afraid of them. And it turned out wonderfully! Just like any good cheesecake, this one is creamy and tangy with a crumbly crust and a bright taste.
Before you begin, set your oven at 300°F and grease a pie plate.
To make the crust, grind pecans or walnuts with almonds, and then with the sweetener of your choice, a splash of vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and butter in a food processor. You can also use almond meal in place of almonds, which is what I had on hand the second time I made this recipe. This should form a thick paste, which you then spread on the bottom of a greased pie plate. You should be able to use whatever vessel you have on hand to bake this treat though - a cake pan or small baking dish would work too.
Bake this crust for 10 minutes and then set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until it softens, then adding sweetener and beating until fluffy. You can do this in a standing mixer, but since I am not currently gifted with one, I used my hand mixer just fine. I used a combination of Splenda and Erythritol for my sweetener, because I find that mixing two kinds cuts out any weird chemical taste.
Next, beat in the eggs one at a time until blended, adding in the vanilla last. The mixture should be smooth and glossy.
Spread half of this mixture evenly on top of the partially baked crust, and then add the pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice to the remainder, mixing until smooth.
Spread the pumpkin and cream cheese mix evenly on top of your pie and bake for 40-50 minutes (until just set). My secret to success when it's done is to turn off the oven and leave the door open to cool down with the pie still in it, for about an hour.
Refrigerate your dessert in the fridge for at least three hours before serving, then cut in and enjoy! I recommend sprinkling the top with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice and eating your slice with a dollop of whipped cream.
Read on for the condensed version of this recipe!
Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie with Pecan Crust
-3/4 cup pecans or walnuts
-1/2 cup almonds
-2 tsp granulated sweetener (I used Erythritol)
-1/2 tsp ground ginger
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/4 tsp ground cloves
-4 tbsp butter
-1 tbsp vanilla
-2 packages (8 oz or 250 g each) cream cheese
-3/4 cup sweetener (I used a mixture of half Splenda, half Erythritol)
-1 tbsp vanilla
-1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
-1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
To Top it Off (optional):
-Pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
Preheat oven to 300°F and grease pie dish.
In a food processor, grind pecans or walnuts with almonds until they become a course meal. Add sweetener, spices, butter, and vanilla, and process until they are well combined and form a thick paste.
Spread evenly on bottom of pie dish and bake for 10 minutes. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix cream cheese until softened and then add sweetener. Beat until fluffy.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time, and then mix in vanilla until fully combined. The mixture should be smooth and glossy.
- Spread half of cheesecake filling evenly into pie dish on top of crust.
- Add pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice to remaining filling in bowl and beat until fully combined. Spread this mixture evenly on top of your pie dish.
- Bake cheesecake for 40-50 minutes in preheated oven until just set. When ready, turn off oven and open door, letting cheesecake sit inside for one hour as it cools.
- Refrigerate for at least three hours before cutting into and serving.
- Optional: Sprinkle with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice and serve with a dollop of whipped cream!
Enjoy, and have an incredibly spooky and amazing Halloween!