Dessert is my favorite part of Thanksgiving. Always has been, always will be. And it’s ALWAYS my responsibility. We (as in I) were going to make paleo pecan pie since we live in New Mexico after all (if you didn’t know, they grow pecans here so it’s kind of a thing) and we’ve also never made pecan pie for Thanksgiving before. But last minute I decided on a pumpkin cheesecake because it’s just not T-day without something pumpkin!
We’ve been making variations of cheesecakes and pumpkin desserts for years now and something just felt off about making pecan pie instead. Perhaps we will save that one for Christmas ;). But, I couldn’t let the idea of pecans slide from my mind, so I decorated this beautiful and delicious cheesecake with some!
If you want to know what we ate on Thanksgiving, you can see the menu on this Instagram post (also, while you are there, if you aren’t following me, follow me!).
My recipe is based off of these two recipes: Grazed and Enthused’s AIP Pumpkin Pie & Whole Life, Full Soul’s AIP Pumpkin Cheesecake. My recipe is also lower FODMAP and nightshade free. This recipe is not super sweet, which is what I love about it. It is quite earthy tasting. I suggest using a high quality pumpkin puree (perhaps even making your own) to get great flavor out of this dessert. You can add extra maple syrup to the filling (or drizzled on top) if you like things on the sweeter side. And it is excellent served with coconut whipped cream or coconut milk ice cream!
*This is a MAKE AHEAD recipe, as it requires chilling for an extended period of time*
AIP Pumpkin Cheesecake with Graham Cracker Crust*
*leave pecans off the top to make autoimmune paleo protocol friendly
1 cup of coconut flour (or 1/2 cup coconut flour + 1/2 cup almond flour if not AIP)
2 tbs. tapioca starch
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 tbs. maple syrup
1 tbs. molasses
1 can of pumpkin (15-ounce)
1 can full fat coconut milk (15-ounce)
1/4 cup melted coconut butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1.5 tbs. Gelatin (I use Great Lakes red can) (use agar agar for vegan version)
2 tbs. boiling water
Preheat oven to 325 F.
Line a springform pan with parchment paper. I usually cut a circle for the bottom and then strips to line the sides.
Mix all dry crust ingredients together to remove any lumps. Add wet ingredients and mix until you have a sandy texture. The dough should hold together and be slightly crumbly, but not be super wet. If for any reason it is not holding together, add some hot water slowly.
Press the dough into the springform pan, spreading evenly along the bottom and up the sides about 1.5-2 inches. Pierce bottom of crust with a fork a couple of times.
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until deep golden brown and feels almost hard (it will harden once taken out of the oven).
While the crust is cooling, make the filling. Combine all the ingredients except for the gelatin and water in a food processor.
Add your gelatin and boiling water together in a small bowl and immediately whisk vigorously to combine. You need to be quick about this so that the gelatin doesn’t harden and become chunky in the water. As soon as you’ve whisked it well, add it to the food processor and make sure everything is combined well. This mixture will be very runny/watery/soupy, do not fear!
Once your crust as cooled, rub your fingers over the areas you pierced with a fork (so that your filling doesn’t run through). Then pour your filling into the crust and set in the fridge for a minimum of 6 hours but I suggest overnight. The gelatin will allow the filling to harden and set.
If you want to add pecans to the top: about 2 hours into chilling, take the pie out and press the pecans into the top of the cheesecake in your desired design. Return cheesecake to the fridge to finish setting.