pumpkin cheese pie (regular and keto)

Pumpkin is an extremely versatile vegetable, it is perfect for soup, for all vegetable and meat dishes, and as an addition or main ingredient of cakes. Pumpkin-based cakes are perhaps the most popular in the United States and Great Britain. And the book and the recipe I used to prepare the pumpkin cheesecake is British. The recipe book is by Jane Suthering and contains recipes for “Cool deserts”, meaning all cold desserts – from those frozen to those at room temperature. The recipe is intended for a 20 cm tart dish. I had a bit larger, so I increased the amount of ingredients.

Now let’s move on to the cake – the pumpkin is not very noticeable in it, perhaps because it was steamed and not baked, it would then be more condensed, and its taste and color more distinct. However, it is not an ordinary cheesecake, although the taste of the cheese is mainly felt here. I skipped the lemon zest and just added the juice. It does not change the fact that the filling is very good, creamy, moist and soft – it melts in the mouth, and the added egg whites makes it light and fluffy. For the next time, I also encountered the preparation of a shortcrust pastry completely without eggs and I like this way more and more – the dough is really crispy and not hard at all – and this was always a problem for me in the shortcrust.

There’s couple different types of pumpkin, I can recommended two I’ve used, and they worked well for cakes, buns, muffins and also soups. First is butternut squash – its shape resembles a huge pear. The butternut squash flesh has no fibers and the taste is nutty and sweetish. Therefore, this type of pumpkin is perfect for everything: as a base for soups, casseroles, as a basic ingredient for bread, muffins, rolls, cookies, cakes and other desserts. You can also make cocktails from it! For cakes, you can also use Hokkaido pumpkin, which is round and dark orange with golden flesh.

Pumpkin is very nutritious vegetable. Pumpkin pulp contains polysaccharides, pigments, amino acids, active proteins, and minerals (Sulfur, Chrome, Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, Zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, β-carotene). Many studies have been done on the anti-diabetic effect of pumpkin polysaccharides. They have been shown to decrease blood glucose and lipid levels in diabetic rats. Studies on people showed that daily supplement of 30 g pumpkin powder can significantly reduce blood glucose concentrations. Pumpkin pigments include carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids are considered a major source of vitamin A which is necessary for embryonic development, growth, and normal eyesight. Pumpkin is an excellent source of pro-vitamin A carotenoids*

You can prepare this pie with regular flour and sugar or in keto option using my recipe for linseed flour pastry. It’s going to works well, although it’s dark in color (if you use golden linseed it will be much brighter), and more intensive in taste. But it’s gluten free and low in carbs. For the filling just skip the flour, it might gets less stiff and deflate a little more, but it’s sill gonna be delicious.

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pumpkin cheese pie (regular option)

NOTE: my cup is regular 250ml glass

INGREDIENTS FOR PASTRY (about 20cm):

• 1 cup plain flour
• pinch of salt
• 100g unsalted butter
• 2 tbsp powdered sugar
• 2-3 tbsp very cold water

INGREDIENTS FOR FILLING:

• 1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
• 3 tbsp sugar
• juice of ½ lemon
• 150 g creme cheese
• 4-5 tbsp double creme
• 2 tbsp plain flour
• pinch of ground nutmeg
• 3 eggs, separated

DIRECTIONS

It’s best to start baking a cake by making a pumpkin puree. The recipe recommends dividing the pumpkin into smaller pieces and baking it in the oven until tender (180 ° C for about 45 minutes) – then peel the pumpkin and blend it into a puree. I chose a slightly more economical version and steamed the pumpkin – I cut it into smaller pieces and steamed until the fork slightly touched the pumpkin. Then I mixed it with a blender. The first way is definitely better, because the pumpkin becomes softer without water and therefore more like real puree. My pumpkin looked more like a very thick cream when blended. I think you could prepare the puree in the third way, that is, dice the pumpkin and simmer in a non-stick pan until the maximum of the liquid evaporates, then blend with a blender if there are any larger pieces. Which method you choose – depends only on you.

When the pumpkin puree is ready, we can start preparing the shortcrust pastry. For this purpose, mix the flour, salt and sugar, add cold butter and add 2-3 tablespoons of very cold water. Knead the dough quickly, put it in a bag and place in the freezer. When it’s cooled down, roll it out directly onto baking sheet to make the size of the pan. I put the dough and baking paper into a tart dish, pressing it against the side walls, and then put it in the fridge to cool (for about 15 minutes). During this time, set the oven to heat up to 190 ° C. Pierced the dough with a fork, so that it would keep it flat and bake for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, preparing the filling. Separate the yolks from the whites. Combine the egg yolks, pumpkin, sugar, lemon juice, flour, white cheese, cream and a pinch of nutmeg using handheld mixer to a smooth liquid mass. In a separate, clean bowl, I beat the egg white with small pinch of salt until stiff peaks (first at lower speed, then higher). Do it just before pouring the dough on the pastry, so that the foam does not have to wait too long and does not deflate.

Take the pastry out of the oven and set the temperature to 170ºC. Pour the egg white into a cheese-pumpkin mix and combine gently but thoroughly. Pour it over the pastry and put it in the oven. I have been baking 45 minutes without fan, but my oven does not bake evenly, as shown in the pictures, so if you have the same problem, it might be worth checking the temperature to 150 ° C and turning on fan, so that the temperature is the same everywhere. One more thing – I baked on the middle shelf of the oven, but you can put the dish on the slightly lower shelf – the top of the pie gets browned quickly and the bottom of pastry was pale, so it’s better to put the pie slightly lower to make the pastry golden on the bottom. After baking, leave the cake for about 20 minutes in the oven slightly opened, then set it aside to cool down.

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pumpkin cheese pie (keto option)

NOTE: my cup is regular 250ml glass

INGREDIENTS FOR PASTRY (about 20cm):

  • 1 cup ground linseed (flaxseed)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup xylitol (or other sweetener)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2-3 tbsp clarified butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk (I used almond milk)

INGREDIENTS FOR FILLING:

• 1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
• about 3 tbsp xylitol (or other sugar replacement)
• juice of ½ lemon
• 150 g creme cheese
• 4-5 tbsp double creme
• pinch of ground nutmeg
• 3 eggs, separated

DIRECTIONS

It’s best to start baking a cake by making a pumpkin puree. The recipe recommends dividing the pumpkin into smaller pieces and baking it in the oven until tender (180 ° C for about 45 minutes) – then peel the pumpkin and blend it into a puree. I chose a slightly more economical version and steamed the pumpkin – I cut it into smaller pieces and steamed until the fork slightly touched the pumpkin. Then I mixed it with a blender. The first way is definitely better, because the pumpkin becomes softer without water and therefore more like real puree. My pumpkin looked more like a very thick cream when blended. I think you could prepare the puree in the third way, that is, dice the pumpkin and simmer in a non-stick pan until the maximum of the liquid evaporates, then blend with a blender if there are any larger pieces. Which method you choose – depends only on you.

Next step is pastry. I use old coffee grinder to grind linseed, you can do the same, or buy grounded linseed. Although it’s more expensive and less healthy, because ground linseed oxidize quickly. That’s why it’s better to buy linseed and grind only the amount you need. You can also use mortar to grind them, but it’s more time consuming and requires more attention.

In a bowl mix together grounded linseed, coconut flour, xylitol, baking powder, butter, egg and milk using your hand. As linseed dough is not as elastic and flexible as regular dough (gluten increases dough cohesiveness and ductility), you might not be able to nicely fold it as you can with regular dough.

Take a piece of baking paper and roll the dough using a rolling pin. Give it more or less a round shape, make it quite thin. Again it may brake, no worries, just stick it together with your fingers. Place it in a tart dish (with or without baking paper, depending of the material of the dish you have), and bake for about 15 minutes in 190ºC.

In the meantime, preparing the filling. Separate the yolks from the whites. Combine the egg yolks, pumpkin, sugar, lemon juice, white cheese, cream and a pinch of nutmeg using handheld mixer to a smooth liquid mass. In a separate, clean bowl, I beat the egg white with small pinch of salt until stiff peaks (first at lower speed, then higher). Do it just before pouring the dough on the pastry, so that the foam does not have to wait too long and does not deflate.

Take the pastry out of the oven and set the temperature to 170ºC. Pour the egg white into a cheese-pumpkin mix and combine gently but thoroughly. Pour it over the pastry and put it in the oven. I baked on the middle shelf of the oven, but you can put the dish on the slightly lower shelf – the top of the pie gets browned quickly and the bottom of pastry was pale, so it’s better to put the pie slightly lower to make the pastry golden on the bottom. After baking, leave the cake for about 20 minutes in the oven slightly opened, then set it aside to cool down.

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*https://www.intechopen.com/books/the-health-benefits-of-foods-current-knowledge-and-further-development/nutritional-profile-and-medicinal-properties-of-pumpkin-fruit-pulp

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