Dec 4, 2013

Maple Walnut Sweet Potato Cheesecake Recipe




I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  It was cold here but likely the roads were perfect.  We hosted this year just like we have for the last 6 years.  I use to get carried away with trying out new side dishes in addition to all the classic Thanksgiving feast and I still made desserts and beverages.  Well I learned it was all just too much and frankly all anybody seemed to care about was the basics anyways.  So I learned to focus on just the basics and to put all my creative energy into making a dessert or two and I remind myself I  can buy a dessert some where if it's a total flop.  Well this year I made two desserts (sweet potato cheesecake and a dutch apple tart) from scratch with recipes I had made up and it was my first time making them.  Yes I do like to bake dangerously! Luckily they turned out great and were a great hit. 

This dessert is really candied sweet potatoes (minus the marshmallows) meets cheese cake.   While it's far from a health food, this dessert does at least have some vitamins and minerals with the use of walnuts and sweet potatoes.  It can also be easily altered to be gluten and flour free by making an all nut flour crust and sugar free by replacing the sugar with maple syrup or honey.  I would love to try a vegan version by using cashews in place of cream cheese but for Thanksgiving I wanted the real deal.  
 
Ingredients Filling

  • 2 pkg. (8 oz. each) organic Cream Cheese 1/3 less fat, softened
  • 2 cups  sweet potato purée (about 2lbs of sweet potatoes boiled and puréed)
  • 3/4 cup organic or cane sugar (so that it is not GMO) can sub with maple syrup or honey
  • 2 Tablespoon Stevia (I use Trader Joe's Brand) 
  • 1 tsp.  ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp  ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp.  pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large pasture raised eggs
  • 3/4 cup  chopped walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp.  maple syrup (use the real deal only!)

Ingredients Crust
  • 1 cup walnuts 
  • 2/3 cup of Graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
 
Directions
1. Make Sweet Potato Puree Peel about 2lbs of sweet potatoes and cut into 1inch pieces and place into a sauce pan with boiling water.  Boil until you can poke it with a fork (about 20-30 min).  Once done pour the water out and leave uncovered until cooled to room temp.   Once the Sweet potatoes are cooled either place in a food processor or use a hand mixer to turn into a purée.  You should have about 2 cups. 
2. HEAT oven to 325°F. Beat first 7 ingredients with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended.
3. Make Crust process all crust ingredients in a food processor until forms crumbs.  Then press into a 9" spring pan. 
4. POUR into crust; top with nuts.
5. BAKE 60 min. or until center is almost set. After done turn off the oven and open the door 1" for 1 hr (or as long as you can).  This step is too help ensure that the cake will not crack. Cool until room temperature, Refrigerate 3 hours or more before serving. Use a butter knife around the sides of the pan before releasing it.  Drizzle with maple syrup just before serving. We used maple syrup we made this spring!

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