Pumpkin pie is a staple at most Thanksgiving and winter holiday feasts, and while it would have been possible to make a gluten-free version, I wanted to kick it up a notch. I fell in love with the idea of the Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake I found in a Rachael Ray Magazine last year. Her original recipe included baking the cheesecake in a hot water bath, but I couldn't find a roasting pan large enough, so I just skipped it (but I got cracks in the top of mine). I served this to guests who marveled at the flavor, and they loved the crust (in spite of its lack of gluten). Enjoy!
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake
(adapted from this recipe)
2 cups of gluten-free graham cracker crumbs or gingersnap crumbs (Trader Joe's GF Gingersnaps are spicy and perfect for this)
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Three 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
5 large eggs, at room temperature
15oz can pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat a 9″ springform pan with cooking spray. Combine crumbs with 1/4 cup sugar. Add the butter and stir until moistened. Press the mixture into the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake until firm, about 6 minutes. Set on a rack to cool.
With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar until smooth. Beat in 2 eggs until blended. Set aside 1/4 cup of the cream cheese mixture for later. Add the remaining 3 eggs, the pumpkin, vanilla, spices and salt and beat until combined.
Pour the cheesecake filling into the crust. Dollop the reserved cream cheese mixture onto the filling and swirl together with a knife. Bake until the center is slightly wobbly but the edges are firm to the touch, about 75 minutes. Read the original recipe for the water bath technique, if wanted.
Let the cheesecake cool for 60 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Run a knife around the edges of the springform pan to loosen the cake.
If you don't have pumpkin pie spice on hand, you can use a little each of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. You can also press the crust into a 9×12 pan, if you prefer, and make Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars. It's all good.
This recipe is linked up to CraftOManiac Monday at Craft-O-Maniac, Friday Food at MomTrends, Gluten-Free Wednesdays at Gluten-Free Homemaker and Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free..