Enjoy fall flavours with pumpkin pie “cheesecake”

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pumpkin_pieAutumn is officially upon us, and with the season comes fabulous fall flavours, including a bounty of dishes that feature versatile pumpkin to satisfy both savoury and sweet palates.

Cooler seasonal temperatures also bring on cravings for comfort food classics, such as warm pies that contain harvest fruits, and decadent cheesecakes in which to indulge.

The following recipe, a pumpkin pie and cheesecake combo, hits all the marks when it comes to a seasonal treat to perfectly cap off a hearty autumn feast, including Thanksgiving dinner.

Plus, this dessert is dairy-free to accommodate food allergies, such as milk intolerances, and vegan diets. The recipe is also significantly healthier than traditional cheesecake, and just as tasty as the real thing!

Crust

3 cups pecans
4 tbsp. brown sugar
3 tbsp. fine rice flour
8 tbsp. vegan margarine, melted

Filling

2 tbsp. non-dairy milk, such as soy, rice or almond
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 227 g containers of plain Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1 cup organic pumpkin puree
250 g tofu, firm
1 tsp. natural vanilla extract
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
4 tsp. fine rice flour

Preheat your oven to 218 C (425 F). Meanwhile, in a food processer, pulse the pecans, brown sugar and rice flour until you have a crumbly mixture. Combine the pecan mixture with the melted vegan margarine, and mix thoroughly using a fork.

To form the crust, press the mixture into a springform pan (a round cake pan with a removable bottom) until it is about half a centimetre thick. Bake the crust in the oven for about 10 minutes. Let the crust cool before adding the filling.

Place all the filling ingredients into a food processor, and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into the baked crust, and place in the oven. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the filling is firm. Cool until room temperature before chilling in the fridge for about two hours.

To present the dessert, remove from the springform pan. Optional: serve drizzled with your favourite store-bought or homemade dairy-free caramel sauce, and enjoy!

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