Ginger-Dusted Pumpkin Cheezecake

A rich and elegant alternative to pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving or anytime the mood strikes. Tofu cream cheese is available in well-stocked supermarkets and natural food stores. If unavailable, use regular tofu – just be sure squeeze out the excess liquid. For a final flourish, top each slice with a dollop of vegan whipped cream. This recipe is adapted from The Vegetarian Meat & Potatoes Cookbook.

Crust:

1 ½ cups vegan ginger snaps or graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup vegan margarine, melted

Filling:

2 (8-ounce) containers tofu cream cheese
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon rum extract
1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
3?4 teaspoon ground allspice
3?4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Topping:

¼ cup ground crystallized ginger

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil an 8-inch springform pan or coat with nonstick spray. Place the crumbs directly into the pan, add the melted margarine and toss with fork to combine. Press the crumbs evenly against the bottom and side of the pan and set aside.

Place the tofu cream cheese in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the pumpkin and process until blended. Add the sugar, rum extract, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg and process until well blended. Spread the filling evenly into the prepared crust. Bake for 45 minutes, or until firm. Turn off the oven and allow cheesecake to cool in the oven for 15 minutes to an hour without opening the oven door.

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate for several hours before serving. When ready to serve, sprinkle the top of the cheesecake with ground crystallized ginger. [Note: crystallized ginger may be ground in an electric spice grinder or in a high speed blender.]

Serves 6

This recipe is part of:  Vegan Thanksgiving 2009 – A Feast by Robin Robertson.

Recipe  © 2009 by Robin Robertson. Published by Vegan.com with permission.