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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cheese Pie

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Let's be thankful to God for our many blessings and let's look for those around us with whom we can share some of those blessings.

Here is a Thanksgiving Pie I will be making tomorrow for the family. Splendid Low-Carbing for Life, Volume 2 has an awesome and very easy Pumpkin Cheesecake (my son, Jonathan's favorite), however, I wanted something a little lighter tomorrow after the meal I have planned.

Crust:
1/3 cup ground pecans or almonds
2 tbsp Splenda Granular
1 tbsp spelt, oat, or whole wheat pastry flour
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 egg yolk
Cream Cheese Layer:
8 oz light cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup Splenda Granular
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pumpkin Layer:
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 eggs
3/4 cup Splenda Granular
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp giner
1/4 tsp nutmeg (optiona)
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
1/2 cup whipping cream

Crust: In medium bowl, combine pecans and almonds, Splenda Granular and flour of choice. Stir in butter and egg yolk. Spread in 9-inch pie plate. Cover with plastic wrap and press crust out evenly; remove plastic wrap. Bake in 350 deg. F. (180 deg. C.) oven 10 minutes.

Cream Cheese Layer: In food processor with sharp blade, blender or in bowl with electric mixer, process cream cheese, Splenda Granular, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour over crust evenly.

Pumpkin Layer: In medium bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, Splenda Granular, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Beat well with wire whisk. Whisk in half-and-half cream and whipping cream. Pour over Cream Cheese Layer. Bake in 350 deg. F. (180 deg. C.) oven 40 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Garnish with whipped cream, creme fraiche (recipe in my books - much nicer than whipped cream and holds up better) and additional pecan halves, if desired.

Yield: 10 servings, 1 serving:
183.5 calories, 5.4 g protein,. 14.9 g fat, 7.0 g carbs

P.S. This cheesecake pumpkin layer can be reduced in carbs by using a Splenda Quick Pack instead of Splenda Granular. This pumpkin layer can be made even sweeter by the addition of 2 tbsp or more of powdered erythritol. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that has no gastrointestinal affects and the way it works in the body, is apparently very beneficial for low carbohydrate diets. Sometime I'll blog on the synergy of Splenda and erythritol in baking. The slight cooling effect is easily masked by using it fairly sparingly and in conjunction with another sweetener like Splenda or by having other flavors mask it. For instance, by using 1/4 cup erythritol and 3/4 cup Splenda it will give one a much sweeter result than Splenda alone, and this can be very beneficial for sweetening chocolate recipes.

I just made this pie and it smells incredible. I did use some powdered erythritol (2 tbsp) in the cream cheese layer along with Splenda and also about 1/4 cup erythritol in the top layer along with a Splenda Quick Pack (I used a whole can (about 1 1/2 cups) of pumpkin as I'm not counting carbs too closely in my dessert tomorrow and an extra egg). I often play with my recipes like this, but if you make it just as written, it will be lovely too - just not quite as sweet. I have a real sweet tooth as you can tell.

Tip: Wait until the crust cools before adding the cream cheese layer.

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