This Pumpkin Walnut Cheesecake — Gluten-free — is a variation on a recipe that came from an in-law about 40 years ago and I have changed it to make it gluten-free. I wanted to rename it “Decadent Cheesecake with Pumpkin and Walnuts” because nothing in it is low fat. However, it has some redeeming values – calcium from the cream cheese, Vitamin A from the pumpkin, and Omega-3s from the walnuts. It’s a perfect recipe for a crowd.
2 cups chopped walnuts divided (reserve 1 cup for topping)
½ cup butter (1 stick)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Chop nuts in a food processor. Combine with remaining ingredients and chop with a pastry cutter or two knives in a medium bowl until mixture reaches a consistency of crumbs.
Press into a greased 10″ spring-form pan. Wrap some foil around the bottom of the spring-form pan to prevent some of the butter in the crust from oozing out onto your oven. Or place it on a cookie sheet.
6 egg yolks
6 egg whites
2 lbs. cream cheese
1 ½ cups pumpkin puree, fresh cooked or canned
1 cup sugar
With an electric mixer beat the egg yolks and cream cheese adding small pieces at a time until smooth. Add pumpkin and sugar and beat until well mixed. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold egg whites into the cheese mixture.
Pour into spring-form pan on top of walnut crust.
Bake at 350° F for 1 ½ hours or until filling is set. A toothpick inserted into the middle of the cheesecake should come out dry when it is done. You may have to place a piece of foil lightly over the top of the pan to keep it from browning too much while baking, or bake on a lower shelf of the oven. Let cool before covering with walnut topping.
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons water
4 teaspoons cornstarch
½ cup brown sugar
1 ½ cup walnuts (halves and pieces)
Combine water and cornstarch & stir in a small cup. Melt butter in small sauce pan over low heat, stir in water, cornstarch, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, for about 3 – 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Stir in walnuts and let cool. Spread on top of cooled cheesecake.