Sunday, February 26, 2012

Butternut Cheesecake

This autumn harvest cheesecake can be made gluten-free or not. Either way it's deliciously creamy.


2 c. butternut squash purée (see below for squash preparation)
¾ c. honey
4 eggs (beaten)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened and room temperature
½ c. yogurt
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon peel
1 pie shell (see below for options)


Cut a butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the innards (like a pumpkin). Put the halves upside down on a cookie sheet with a little water in it (up to about ¼ of an inch). Bake at 350˚ for about 45 minutes or until the squash is clearly soft when pierced with a fork. Do not overcook as the squash will turn brown on the bottom and discolor your pie. Check frequently after 30 minutes in the oven. Once the squash has cooled enough to handle, scoop out the squash meat.

Combine all the cheesecake filling ingredients in a blender or food processor and whirl until creamy smooth.

Whether or not this cheesecake is gluten-free depends on what type of crust you choose to use. A traditional graham cracker crumb crust will work well. For a gluten-free version, I recommend using Pamela’s brand gluten-free ginger snaps. To make a crust out of the ginger snaps, put them into a plastic bag and hammer them into crumbs. Melt one stick of butter. Combine the crumbs and the butter and press them together into a pie pan. The same crust preparation method would work for making a graham cracker crumb crust from scratch. A ready-made crust can also be used.

Bake the cheesecake at 350˚ for 45 minutes or until the center is set. Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature and then refrigerate it for at least two hours before serving.

Eat well, be well, live deliciously!

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