So this weekend we celebrated my handsome husbands 35th birthday, and I tell you, if anyone in this house loves pumpkin flavored food more than me… it’s him! This Cheesecake was indulgence at its finest! When I coach my clients they are sometimes shocked to see me endorse desserts! And to bring clarity to the matter, I coach my clients to not fear indulging from time to time, losing weight and being truly healthy in mind body and spirit is never brought about by following rigid rules or by deprivation dieting!
*Coaching tip… I always say when you indulge, make it count 😉 be sure it is the best quality food and that you really truly enjoy it, eat it in the presence of loved ones and with great appreciation for the “sweetness” in your life 🙂 eat it with the understanding and acceptance that we allow no food to be our master.
So back to this beauty! I originally found this recipe on Pinterest but as I always do, I made my own additions and modifications to it, and the raves and reviews from my family were well worth the time and effort put into this cake! My mother in law even said that this was the BEST cheese cake she had ever tasted! As for the birthday boy? He was full of compliments for the chef as well! My advice is to make this cake the day before you plan on serving it, this gives it time to really “set” not to mention builds the anticipation for something to look forward to!
Here is what you will need for the crust:
- 1 cup of ground up Gluten Free Ginger Snap Cookies (I got mine from Trader Joes)
- 1/2 cup of Raw Pecans coarsely ground
- 1/4 cup Grass Fed Butter melted
- 2 tbsp organic brown sugar
Coarsely grind up your ginger snap cookies and your pecans and toss them into a medium sized mixing bowl along with 2 tbsp brown sugar. Melt your grass fed butter and pour over your crumb/sugar mixture. mix together until all of the mixture is nice and moist then press into the bottom of a 9″ spring form pan and set aside.
Here is what you will need for the filling:
- 2/3 cup Raw Turbinado Sugar
- 3/4 cup Organic Pumpkin Puree
- 3 egg yolks from pastured (cage free) hens
- 3/4 tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1/4 tbsp Cinnamon
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 3 (8 ounce) packages of Natural Full Fat Cream Cheese
- 1/2 cup of Raw Turbinado Sugar
- 1 Large Pastured egg
- 1 Pastured egg yolk
- 2 tbsp Organic Grass Fed heavy whipping cream
- 1 tbsp Organic Tapioca Starch
- Additional whole Pecans
- Jar of Fluer De Sel caramel (I got mine from Trader Joes)
Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees. Let your cream cheese get nice and soft at room temp, beat all 3 packages with an electric mixer until they are well blended and fluffy. In a separate bowl, add your pumpkin puree, 2/3 cup of turbinado sugar, spices, salt, vanilla and 3 egg yolks and mix well and set aside. Slowly blend in your 1/2 cup of turbinado sugar to the cream cheese, add the 1 large whole egg and blend in, then add the 1 remaining egg yolk, once this is nice and incorporated add in the 2 tbsp of heavy whipping cream, lastly add the tapioca starch. When the cream cheese mixture is nice and blended slowly pour in the pumpkin mixture until well combined. Pour into your ready to go 9″ spring form pan (you may want to grease the sides for easy release later, I use trader joes coconut oil no stick spray) Place cheesecake in middle rack of preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 50-55 min (some of the filling may leak out so place on top of foil or a cookie sheet when baking 🙂 )
After the cheesecake bakes for 50-55 min (a knife in the middle should be mostly clean) turn the oven off and let stand in the oven for an additional 60 min. This tip is supposed to keep your cheesecake from cracking, perhaps you will have better luck than I because mine still cracked : / luckily no one seemed to care, and it sure did not affect the taste!
Once the hour is up, remove from the completely cooled oven and cover with foil and place in the fridge, preferable overnight, about 2 hours before it is time to serve, take the cake out of the fridge and let sit on your counter for about 15 min before removing the spring form pan. Take your jar of caramel and a clear plastic zipper baggie and fill about 1/3 of the baggie with caramel, cut one corner tip of the baggie off to create a “piping bag” and use this to drizzle or “pipe” lines of caramel over the top of your cheesecake, go up and down, side to side and zig zag. As you can see in my picture above, the caramel ended up all “smooshing” together anyway 😀 but it was still fun to do!
Then lastly add your remaining pecans around the edge and place back into the fridge until cutting time! Enjoy and I would love your comments below!
Ryan on his 35th Birthday