Gluten-free Vegetarian Thanksgiving 7: Cranberry Cheesecake and Pie

November 20th, 2011 yum Posted in Blog Event, Blog News, Cranberries, Dairy Free, Dessert, Dinner Party, Party Food, Party Menu, Thanksgiving, Vegan, Vegetarian, cashew 3 Comments »


Would you believe that this is the seventh day of our Vegetarian Thanksgiving Event? Today Nicole of Special Diet Creations seems to have read my mind, because she created a vegan and nearly raw Dairy-free, processed sugar-free cranberry cheesecake for our event. As I mentioned yesterday, Toddler Yum loves mommy’s raw cheesecake recipe. Not only that but she loves sipping heavily diluted cranberry juice with grandma, so I think she would really enjoy this recipe. It makes a beautiful presentation and would be perfect for any vegan guests to your Thanksgiving Dinner. Not only that but it doesn’t require the oven so won’t compete with your other recipes.

The DH just got back from a two week trip to Israel and I want to spend time with my honey, so I’ll make this quick. I had this recipe at some of my favorite adopted “parents’” house. You know how sometime you have parents and siblings etc. that you are born with, and then people that you meet that end up filling that role for you in your life without being related by blood? Well, Vic and Hallie take the role of gluten-free “Mom and Dad” at our local gluten-free potluck events. This is one of my favorite recipes that they made for us “kids” (although their pizza is also spectacular). Hallie is vegetarian, and a wonderful mom to her own daughters and us local kids too. I hope you enjoy it!

Here’s some more gluten-free dessert recipes:
Dairy-free Soy-free Pumpkin Pie (use GF crust)
Grain-free Pumpkin Cranberry Upside Down Cake
Gluten-free Banana Blueberry Buckle
Raw Truffle Recipe
Blueberry Pie with Honey Whipped Cream
Cinnamon Apple Cake Recipe- no processed sugar, grain-free

Vic and Hallie’s Surprise Cranberry Pie Recipe
Ingredients
1 bag fresh cranberries
1/2 cup Sliced almonds (optional)
1/3 cup Sugar to sprinkle the fruit
3/4 cup Sugar for the crust
2 Eggs
3/4 cup {1-1/2 stick) Butter or margarine (I used 1/4 cup margarine with 1/2 cup butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon Xanthan gum (or xanthan gum mixed with guar gum)
1 cup of your favorite mild GF flour blend.
Directions
This recipe makes one large pie or large cake, or two smaller pies or two smaller cakes. I used one large pie pan and one small gratin type dish.
* Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease the pie plates.
* Wash the cranberries or other fruit, leaving a little water on them.
* Place the fruit on the bottom of the pie plate. If you use nuts, put them on top of the fruit. Next sprinkle sugar over the top.
* In a mixing bowl, cream the remaining sugar with the eggs and butter. Stir in the vanilla extract and then finally fold in the flour and xanthan gum.
* Pour or spread the batter over the fruit.
* Bake for 35 – 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted near the center of the crust comes out clean.
* Important step: Cool for 10 minutes and gently loosen the edges. If you are using a springform, it is particularly important to loosen the edges at this point. Wait until the pie cools completely before taking off the springform sides.
Notes
I used 1/2 tsp xanthan gum and think I would try 1/4 tsp. next time.

For the GF flour blend, Carol Fenster’s or Bette Hagman’s work well- I used a Brown rice version of Bette Hagman’s featherlight blend, but anything will work. Make sure it has a delicate flavor that won’t overwhelm the fruit.

You can use different fruits in this recipe, and adapt the flavorings as desired.

I think the pie tastes best cool, but it’s good either way. If you want to be really crazy you can add whipped cream or ice cream on top.

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Gluten-free Vegetarian Thanksgiving 6: Pear Custard Pie and Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

November 19th, 2011 yum Posted in Blog Event, Blog News, Dairy Free, Dessert, Dinner Party, Party Food, Party Menu, Thanksgiving, Vegan 8 Comments »


For this, our 6th installment of my Gluten-free Vegetarian Thanksgiving, we have a scrumptious dessert for you. Lauren from As Good as Gluten made a gluten-free pear custard pie that would be a wonderful addition to the Thanksgiving dinner table. I have to admit that pears are not my favorite fruit, but I bet that you could adapt it to be made with apples or persimmons and it would be great for those with unreasonable grudges against pears like myself. I love the idea of a custard based pie without a crust. It sounds so easy and yet channels the decadent flavor of the creme brulee, one of my personal favorites. This recipe would be a challenge to make vegan, but if you manage it I’d love to hear how you did it!

This recipe reminds me of my friend Ali’s latest recipe for a refined-sugar-free cranberry pear sauce. I bet even a curmudgeon like me wouldn’t mind the pear mixed in with cranberries!
Since we had a recipe that would be difficult to veganize, I thought I’d share a recipe I developed for a gluten-free vegan cheesecake. Actually looking at this recipe inspires me to make a new raw-foods based version. I know Toddler Yum would enjoy something made with her favorite raw-foods cashew-based cheesecake base. But, this recipe is certainly easy and delicious too. You could always make two vegan cheesecakes for Thanksgiving! I’m sure no one would object. What are your favorite gluten-free vegan dessert recipes? Share in the comments!

I hope you are enjoying my Gluten-free Vegetarian Thanksgiving Series. I’d love to hear what your favorite recipes have been so far.

Gluten Free Vegan Double-layer Pumpkin Cheesecake
Dessert  Tofu  American  
Ingredients
Crust:
1 Nana’s No Gluten Ginger Cookie OR 3/4 cup gluten-free gingersnap cookie like Trader Joes or Midel(not vegan)
3/8 cup finely ground pecans
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/6 cup olive oil or other oil of your choice

Filling Base:
8 oz. Tofutti Better than cream cheese
1 pkg firm silken tofu (just over 14 oz.)
1/2 cup agave nectar (or try maple syrup)
2 tbsp corn starch
1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
pinch salt

Part Two Filling:
1/2 cup pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie mix filling
2 tsp rum (if desired)
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie seasoning
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
pinch salt (if needed, taste)

6 ceramic ramekins

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine crust ingredients in a food processor and blend together. Press into the bottoms of your ramikins, forming a thin crust.

Clean food processor.

Combine all the ingredients of your filling base in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. Remove 1 cup of the combined filling base and reserve. Now add the part two of the filling to the remaining filling base left in your food processor. (Pumpkin puree through the nutmeg and salt.) Process everything together. Taste and add a little more vanilla and/or salt if you think it needs it.

Now, take a clean spatula and carefully smooth the white, reserved filling base as the first cheesecake layer in all of your ramikins. Cover with pumpkin filling as the second cheesecake layer. You can leave a little mound in the center that is higher, but I’m not sure if it is necessary.

Place your ramikins in a baking dish with medium-steep sides. Fill the baking dish with hot water halfway up the sides of your ramikins, making sure not to get any water IN the ramikins.

Bake for 45- 50 minutes, cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for as long as possible- at least three hours. *sigh* Carefully remove from container or serve in ramikin. Enjoy!

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