Photo by Lily Wan
Seminole Pumpkin Cheesecake
Fun fact: a pumpkin is a fruit. Funner fact: you can make a cheesecake out of one. Check out this recipe shared with us by Maggie Hope and Ann Murray, co-owners of worker-owned cooperative restaurant Civilization and its catering branch, Terranova. Seminole pumpkin is a native Florida fruit that readily grows in our weather conditions and soil. Quit reading and get cooking!
(Makes 2 cheesecakes)
- 1 1/2 cups baked pureed Seminole Pumpkin**
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger or all-spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup raw sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Pecan Graham Cracker Crust
- 4 cups organic graham cracker crumbs (can be ground in food processor)
- 2 cups ground pecans
- 1 cup cold butter
- 2 tablespoons raw sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
**Cut pumpkin into 3-by-3 inch pieces and bake until tender (30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees), then cool a bit and peel off the skin. Place in colander to drain off extra moisture and then puree in food processor.
- For the Pecan Graham Cracker Crust: Process all ingredients until very fine crumbs are formed. Press into two pie pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool before filling with cheesecake mixture.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Process together the first six ingredients. In an electric mixer, blend together cream cheese, raw sugar and vanilla. Add pumpkin mixture and blend until smooth and fully incorporated, but do not overmix.
- Divide the mixture between two graham cracker crusts and bake for an hour or until set. (Baker’s tip: Placing a pan of water in the oven may help prevent cracking of cheesecake.)
The Vegan Way (modification by us)
For the cheesecake mixture, instead of the eggs and cream cheese use:
- 2 cups of soaked (overnight) cashews
- 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Throw everything in the food processor and add the remaining ingredients according to Civilization’s recipe.
For the crust, just use vegan margarine instead of butter.
Eat me! I’m in season and fresh!
Sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes)
Citrus: Red Navel/Navel/Valencia oranges*
* Produced locally around Gainesville