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Ahoy Pumpkins

Oct 3, 2012

Pumpkin We Go North One of the best parts about living in the north is the thrill of seasonal delicacies; things seem to taste better when you haven’t had them for a while. We are saying goodbye to the lush berries of summer and giving a hearty hello to earthy root vegetables like beets and the seasonal must…pumpkins.

Whether you prefer fresh or canned pumpkin, both deliver when it comes to any holiday menu. While pumpkin pie is a traditional table staple, we have noticed home cooks changing things up with this versatile ingredient.

From homemade pumpkin butter to creamy soups, there is so much you can do with this northern-grown ingredient.

One of our favorites is a no-bake pumpkin swirl cheesecake, saving you time on turkey day. Check out the recipe below, and remember, We Go North is not responsible for your guests licking their plates clean.

No-Bake Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

Ingredients:

3/4 cup finely crushed graham crackers
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 - 8 ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute* equivalent to 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup fat-free milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
2 - 8 ounce package fat-free cream cheese
1 - 15 ounce can pumpkin
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup orange juice

Directions:

1 - For crust, in a medium bowl, stir together crushed graham crackers and melted butter until crackers are moistened. Press mixture onto bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Cover and chill while preparing filling.

2 - For filling, in a food processor or blender, combine the reduced-fat cream cheese, 1/4 cup of the sugar, 1/4 cup of the milk, the vanilla, and orange peel. Cover and process or blend until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl; set aside.

3 - In a food processor or blender, combine fat-free cream cheese, pumpkin, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, remaining 1/4 cup milk, and pumpkin pie spice. Cover and process or blend until smooth.

4 - In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over orange juice; let stand for 5 minutes. Cook and stir over low heat until gelatin is dissolved. Stir 1 tablespoon of the gelatin mixture into the white cream cheese mixture and the remaining gelatin mixture into the pumpkin mixture.

5 - Pour pumpkin mixture over chilled crust in pan. Carefully pour white cream cheese mixture over pumpkin mixture. Using a narrow, thin-bladed metal spatula or a table knife, swirl pumpkin and white mixtures.

6 - Cover and chill overnight before serving. To serve, using a small sharp knife, loosen cheesecake from side of spring form pan; remove side of pan. Cut into wedges. Makes 12 servings.

We Go North Tested Tip:

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare as directed through Step 5. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours. Serve as directed in Step 6

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