Food Hunter's Guide to Cuisine: Chef Knauer's Pumpkin Soy Cheesecake

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chef Knauer's Pumpkin Soy Cheesecake


I am Jennifer Giralo, a beginner food hunter interested in easy and fresh recipes that every level of cook can enjoy. I’m interested in what food does. As a bi-product of sensational and artistic creations, we eat to survive and to socialize. Communities and families gather in an expression of various cultures.

On Tuesday, November 20, I was given the fantastic opportunity to speak with a very experienced culinary artist, Chef Ian Knauer. Knauer joined spatulas with Tastemakers to continue to Food Revolution, encouraging “Food Done Right” through supporting local and organic food. This campaign connects consumers back to the origins of their food, creating awareness of healthy, fresh alternatives available locally.

This Thanksgiving, I wanted to bring something unique to the table. In the Tastemakers video series with Knauer, he describes a soy alternative recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake, as not all guests can consume dairy. During our interview, he shared the recipe with me, and I decided to give it a try as a beginner artist. With this simple Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe, I will impress my family and friends with ease. It’s that presentational, and it tastes even better.

That’s what Thanksgiving is about, right? Impressing your family with Pumpkin Cheesecake?

I impressed myself with this recipe. I couldn’t find Gingersnap Crumbles for the crust, so I bought the cookies and blended them myself. It took more effort; however, it made me think that other foods on the shelf are similar to the Gingersnap Crumbles. I’ve been disconnected from where food originates, simply buying it off of the shelf as it magically appears. Chef Knauer has taught me that it is a better alternative to buy local and organic. If we create these pieces ourselves, we’ll take more value in every piece, leaving little to waste.

Trust me. You won’t want to waste a bite of this Pumpkin Soy Cheesecake.

Thank you, Chef Knauer.

To find out more about Tastemakers, visit the Tastemakers Official Website.

Pumpkin (Soy) Cheesecake

For the crust:
5 tablespoons coconut oil
1½ cups gingersnap crumbs (from about 6 oz)
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

For the filling:

¾ cup sugar
8 oz soy cream cheese
2 large eggs
¼ cup soy milk
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup cooked pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9-to 9½-inch pie plate.

Stir together the coconut oil, gingersnap crumbs, sugar, and salt and press them into
the bottom and up side of pie plate.

Bake until crisp about 15 minutes, then cool completely about 45 minutes.

Whisk together the sugar and cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat
in the eggs, soy milk, flour, nutmeg and cinnamon. Reserve 2/3 cup of cheese mixture.

Whisk the pumpkin into the remaining cheese mixture.

Pour the pumpkin mixture into the crust. Drizzle reserved 2/3 cup cheese mixture over pumpkin mixture to create a marbled pattern, then swirl once with a fork.

Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake until center is just set, 35 to 45 minutes.

Transfer to a rack to cool, then chill until cold, at least 4 hours.

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