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

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  
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

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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8 Responses to “Gluten-free Vegetarian Thanksgiving 6: Pear Custard Pie and Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake”

  1. [...] RECIPE! Vegan Pumpkin Chestnut Sage Soup with Pine Nut Cream Sauce GF Veg Thanksgiving Episode 6: Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake GF Veg Thanksgiving Episode 7: A Cranberry Crustless Pie that resembles a dump cake without the [...]

  2. I love the individual portions, can’t wait to try it.

  3. Hi Angie, Thank you! Yes, we enjoyed the individual portions too. They keep well in the freezer which is perfect for leftovers.


  4. I miss your pies and foods so much!!

  5. Yum – both of these desserts look amazing!

  6. Donna Spencer Says:

    What could I use in place of tofu? I’m allergic to soy, but this sounds so good that I would like to try making it.

  7. Donna, That is a really tough substitution because it hinges on the dairy substitute of soy. I would try to do a cross between my cashew cream cheesecake (dairy-free, soy-free) and this recipe.

    I mention the cashew cream cheesecake in the post but here is the URL again:

    Hope this helps!

  8. Donna Spencer Says:

    Thanks, I’ll try that.

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