Paleo and Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

 

Prep: 15 minutes
Cooking: 35 minutes
Total: ~6 hours (due to cheesecake setting and cashews soaking)
Yield: 8 slices

Ingredients 

Crust

1 box Simple Mills Pumpkin Muffin & Bread Mix 
1/4 cup coconut oil + 2 tablespoons, melted

 

Cheese

2 cups raw cashews, soaked in boiling water for 1 1/2 hours
1 and 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp canned coconut milk
1/2 cup and 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
Black pepper (just a few cracks or a big pinch)

Caramel

1 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

 

Instructions

For the crust:

PREHEAT the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and adjust the oven rack to the middle position.

In a large bowl, MIX together the crust ingredients until a sticky mixture forms. Be sure to add a little more coconut oil if it isn’t clumping together against the side of the bowl with your fingers.

PRESS EVENLY into the bottom of a parchment lined 6” springform pan. 

BAKE at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes until the crust is lightly brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool down.

 

For the cheesecake:

ADD cashews to a bowl and cover with boiling hot water. Let set, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours. Rinse and drain thoroughly.

ADD drained cashews and the rest of the filling ingredients to the bowl of your food processor or into a high speed blender pitcher.

PROCESS OR BLEND until creamy and smooth throughout, scraping down the sides as needed. *Taste and adjust accordingly. Be sure to add more lemon juice if it's too sweet, more maple syrup if it isn't sweet enough or a pinch more of salt for more balance!*

POUR the filling over the crust and tap the pan onto the counter a few times to release any air bubbles that may have formed. Place in the freezer to set for at least 4 hours or overnight.

WHEN READY TO SERVE, pull out the cheesecake and allow it to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before slicing and serving. When you're ready to slice, run your chef's knife under very hot water and dry it off with a towel. Cut the cheesecake using that hot knife- it'll be much easier.

TOP OFF with plenty of caramel sauce and some dairy free whipped cream if you'd like. Leftovers can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!

     

    For the caramel sauce:

    POUR maple syrup and coconut sugar into a heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and let boil softly for ~15 minutes. Stir every few minutes with a heat proof spatula to keep the bubbles down.

    Once the syrup begins to coat the outside of a spatula or spoon, it's time to add the coconut milk.

    RAISE THE HEAT again and bring to a low boil and turn back down. Continue stirring until it begins to thicken up quite a bit.

    REMOVE from heat and stir in oil, salt, and vanilla extract.

    LET COOL to room temperature, stirring occasionally to keep the fat incorporated. Pour into an airtight glass container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

     

    Photo and Recipe by Monica Stevens Le