For those who prefer the real thing to canned
pumpkin, this recipe for Maple Pumpkin
Cheesecake may be just the one you're looking for.
PEARL City reader E.C. asked for a dessert recipe "that uses the pumpkin itself instead of the canned one."
Dessert uses fresh pumpkin
"The Pumpkin Cookbook" author Karen Sheldon, in a phone interview from Arizona, said she also prefers the flavor of fresh pumpkin, but recommends that cooks oven bake or slow cook some of the moisture from the flesh.
"Fresh pumpkin tends to retain a lot of water," Sheldon said, "especially if you use water to cook it in. In my booklet, I recommend people cook it down so that it has more the consistency of canned pumpkin. Cook over very low heat and condense it down for an hour.
"Or to bake it, slice the pumpkin right in half, scoop out the seeds and set it face-down - skin-side up - on a cookie sheet with high sides, because some liquid will come out. Bake for about an hour, without adding any water. Then, just scoop it out of the skin. It tends to work better that way."
Order Sheldon's 28-page, 68-recipe cookbook by sending a $4.75 check made to: K. Sheldon Enterprises, P.O. Box 25544, Prescott Valley, AZ 86312.
This lower-fat ricotta cheesecake weighs in at 210 calories and 10 grams of fat compared with 420 calories and 28 grams of fat in traditional recipes. Use either or both toppings on the cake.
Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake(From Carnation Evaporated Skimmed Milk)3/4 cup graham cracker crumbsCombine graham cracker crumbs and margarine in a small bowl. Press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan.
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
1-3/4 cups pumpkin, canned solid pack or cooked fresh
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 packages (8 ounces each) light cream cheese (Neufchatel)
1/2 cup part-skim milk ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1-1/2 teaspoons maple flavoring
1/2 cup undiluted evaporated skimmed milk
1/2 cup egg substitute
Sour cream topping:1/2 cup nonfat sour cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon maple
Pecan topping:1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring
Beat pumpkin, brown sugar, cream cheese, ricotta cheese, flour, pumpkin pie spice and maple flavoring in large mixer bowl on high speed for 1 minute. Add evaporated skimmed milk and egg substitute; beat just until blended. Pour over crust.
Bake at 350 degrees for 65 to 85 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between center and outer edge comes out clean.
Meanwhile, prepare choice of topping. Remove from oven; cool for 10 minutes on wire rack. Chill. Remove side of pan. Makes 16 servings.
To prepare sour cream topping: Combine nonfat sour cream, sugar and maple flavoring in a small bowl. Serve separately in the bowl or spread on cheesecake before chilling.
To prepare pecan topping: Combine pecans, brown sugar, butter and maple flavoring. Sprinkle over top of cheesecake. Return to 350-degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until topping is bubbly.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving, without pecan topping: 210 calories, 10 grams fat.*