Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake with Brown Sugar Whipped Cream

I am so excited for this post!  Whether you’re looking for a pumpkin treat that is gluten free, or if you’re just looking for an incredible pumpkin dessert, this is the cheesecake for you!

First, let’s talk making homemade cheesecake.  I have made many a cheesecake over the years and after having many of them come out  of the oven looking beautiful, only to have huge cracks appear as they cool, I decided to do some research.  So a number of years ago I read as much as I could about making the perfect cheesecake, and I’m going to share what I found with you.

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When baking a cheesecake, always use a water bath.  This will help the cake to cook slowly and evenly.  This will also give the cheesecake the smooth texture that is ideal.
Gradually cool down the cheesecake.  I have found the best way to do this is to turn off the oven and crack the door open, like in the picture below.  Leave the cheesecake here for 2 hours before removing it and placing it on the counter to finish cooling off to room temperature, about another hour.
Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for an additional 4 hrs, minimum.
Following these steps, with any cheesecake, I have found to be a full proof way to get the amazing smooth, silky texture that is desired in a cheesecake, and to prevent the middle from sinking down and cracking.
With this particular cheesecake, the spices are spot on and the pecan crust gives nice contrast of texture to the smooth cake.  And let’s be honest, toasted pecans and pumpkin together, so good!!
I love the Brown Sugar Whipped Cream with the cheesecake.
My kids asked if we could have this instead of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.  They don’t need to ask twice.  Done, and done!
  Here’s some pictures and helpful hints!
I like to chop the pecans with my handy chopper that I got as a wedding gift
17 years ago.  It does a great job getting the nuts nice and small.
Press crust evenly and firmly in the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.
Cut your cream cheese into cubes.  This will help it all be the same
temperature and mix more smoothly.
If you forget to leave your eggs out to get to room temperature,
put them in warm tap water to help take the chill off.
Place two paper towels flat on a baking sheet or countertop.
Spread pumpkin on towels and press additional paper towels on the top.
Leave alone and allow the towels to continue to absorb the moisture.
Place the pan over two pieces of foil and wrap the pan in a
double layer of foil.  Place pan in a roasting pan or the bottom of a broiling pan.

 

Butter the sides of the spring form pan using a pastry
 brush and making sure to not get butter in the crust.
Leave the cheesecake in the oven with the oven door left cracked open.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake                                   Printable Recipe

Crust:
2 1/2 C ground pecans
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1/3 C sugar
3 T melted butter
Cheesecake:
24 oz cream cheese, cubed and softened
1 C sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 T vanilla
1 T lemon juice
15 oz pumpkin
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t ginger
1/4 t cloves
1/2 t salt
Melted butter for greasing the pan
Directions
Stir together ground nuts, cinnamon, and sugar.  Mix in melted butter.  Press evenly and firmly in the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.  Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Cook at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.  Allow to cool.  Set oven to 325 degrees.
Place two paper towels flat on a baking sheet or counter top.  Spread pumpkin on towels and press additional paper towels on the top.  Leave alone and allow the towels to continue to absorb the moisture.  Whip cream cheese and sugar in mixer bowl until combined and smooth.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing between each addition.  Add pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt.  Mix until smooth, making sure to scrape down the sides.
  Place the pan over two pieces of foil and wrap the pan in a double layer of foil.  Place pan in a roasting pan or the bottom of a broiling pan.  Butter the sides of the spring form pan using a pastry brush and making sure to not get butter in the crust.  Pour the filling into the springform pan.
Depending on which you’re comfortable with, you now put water in the outer pan and place it in the oven, or place the pan on the oven rack, pour the water in, and close the oven.  Cook for 55-65 minutes.  Turn off the oven.  Leave the cheesecake in the oven with the oven door left cracked open.  Leave everything alone for 2 hours.  Take cheesecake out of the oven and remove from water bath.  Remove foil and allow to cool on the counter for another hour.  Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hrs.
Brown Sugar Whipped Cream                                  Printable Recipe

Recipe from Cook’s Illustrated
1 C heavy cream, chilled
1/2 C sour cream
1/2 C light brown sugar
1/8 t salt
Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, whip heavy cream, sour cream, sugar, and salt until combined.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve, at least 4 hours, or up to 1 day, stirring one or twice during chilling to ensure that sugar dissolves.
Before serving, using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip mixture on medium low speed until foamy, about 1 minute.  Increase speed to high and whip until soft peaks form, 1 to 3 minutes.

Have fun trying! Anne

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