pumpkin swirl cheesecake.

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I love love love pumpkin pie, but since it isn’t thanksgiving yet, I thought that a pumpkin swirl cheesecake would be more appropriate.  It’s so easy to make thanks to the prepared graham cracker crust I used (I keep finding great ones – only 100 calories per serving in this one and no bizarre artificial ingredients) – using a prepared crust saves so much time!  

This is much lighter than regular cheesecake, and you get protein from the tofu and vitamin A from the pumpkin.  Also, don’t tell anyone that there’s tofu in this – you really won’t taste it!  I think this is my favorite dessert I’ve made in a long time – it’s sweet and yummy but doesn’t leave you feeling heavy. 

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake:

1 prepared graham cracker crust
8 oz. silken tofu
8 oz. reduced fat whipped cream cheese
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
3 egg whites, divided
2 tsp. cornstarch, divided
4 tbsp. almond milk, divided
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice

Preheat the oven to 375.

Drain the tofu very thoroughly and process until smooth in the food processor.  

my very sophisticated tofu-draining method: place the tofu between 2 plates, add a few more dishes on top (the firmer the tofu, the more weight it can handle; silken tofu can't handle too much weight!) and allow the tofu to drain for one hour.  After an hour, drain any excess water with a towel.

my very sophisticated tofu-draining method: place the tofu between 2 plates, add a few more dishes on top (the firmer the tofu, the more weight it can handle; silken tofu can't handle too much weight!) and allow the tofu to drain for one hour. After an hour, drain any excess water with a towel.

Add in the cream cheese and process until blended and smooth.  Dissolve 1 tsp. cornstarch in 2 tbsp. almond milk, and add to the tofu mixture.  Add 1/4 cup of sugar and mix until smooth and combined.  Add in 1 1/2 egg whites, the vanilla and lemon juice and combine all ingredients well.

In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin puree and remaining 1/4 cup sugar.  Dissolve 1 tsp. cornstarch in 2 tbsp. almond milk, and add to the pumpkin mixture.  Add in 1 1/2 egg whites and spices, and mix until well combined.

Fill the bottom of the graham cracker crust with the tofu/cheese mixture (I used about 3 ladles full).  

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Next, add in a layer of the pumpkin mixture over the tofu/cheese mixture (I used a bit less – about 2 1/2 ladles full).  

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Add in another layer of the tofu/cheese mixture (about 2 ladles full).  

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Dollop the remaining cheese and pumpkin mixture on top (you may not need all of the pumpkin mixture) and swirl together using a fork/toothpick.  

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Place the pie shell on baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour (until filling is set).  Remove and allow to cool at room temperature for one hour. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.  

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