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Sunday, September 28, 2014

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake


I have no idea where this recipe for no bake Pumpkin Cheesecake came from but I've had it in my file for years--probably picked it up when I was teaching.  The staff room in schools is a great place to taste and get new recipes. Someone is always bringing in a treat and sharing recipes and I usually asked for any recipes that were going around the staff room.


This light and airy no bake Pumpkin Cheesecake is one of those easy-to-put-together desserts that everyone seems to enjoy.  Using pumpkin pie filling cuts out measuring the spices and most of the sugar so it does come together quickly.  You can even use a pre-made graham cracker crust if you wish and cut down on the work even more.  You'll probably have enough filling for two pies using the purchased crusts as they are smaller than homemade.  But, that being said, a homemade crust doesn't take long to make, especially if you use the graham crumbs.  


I like to use a liquid whipped topping (like Nutri-Whip) but a frozen topping (Cool Whip) or a dry mix (Dream Whip) will work equally as well in this dessert.  Use your favourite brand or whatever you have on hand or is cheapest at the grocery store. 

I've included an optional ingredient of 2 tablespoons of dry vanilla instant pudding.  Sometimes no bake cheesecakes can be very soft and hard to cut.  The pudding will stabilize the pumpkin mixture giving it a little more structure.  Use it or leave it out.  The Cheesecake will taste good either way.

 

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust:
1¼ cups graham wafer crumbs
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ cup melted butter

Filling:
1 (8 ounce) cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin pie filling, don't use plain 100% canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons vanilla instant pudding dry mix, optional
2 cups thawed whipped topping
1 cup thawed whipped topping, for garnish

For crust:
In small bowl, mix graham crumbs, sugar and melted butter together.  Press into a 9-inch pie plate or spring form pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.  Alternately, the crust can be baked in 350 degree oven for 6 minutes.  Cool before using. 

For Filling:
In the bowl of an electric mixer add room temperature cream cheese and sugar.  Beat until fluffy, scraping the bowl occasionally.  Add pumpkin pie filling a little at a time until well blended and smooth, again scraping the bowl occasionally. Mix in the dry instant vanilla pudding, if using.  Fold 2 cups whipped topping into the pumpkin mixture until well incorporated.

Spoon mixture into prepared graham cracker crust and spread to fill evenly. Refrigerate overnight or at least 2-hours before serving.  If using a pie shell, serve from the pie plate.  If using a spring form pan, run a knife around the side of the pan before releasing the spring clamp. 

Before serving, decorate top of cheesecake with the remaining whipped topping. 

Makes 8-10 servings.


To make the crust, combine the crumbs, sugar and melted butter together.  Press into a 9-inch pie plate or spring form pan.  I used the spring form pan and came up the sides with the crumbs about an inch.  Refrigerate or bake the crust according to the recipe directions.  I like to bake the crust as I think it gives a firmer crumb and doesn't crumble as easily when cutting.

Make sure you use Pumpkin Pie Filling and not plain pumpkin when you make the cheesecake mixture. 

Beat the cream cheese and sugar together.  Gradually add the pumpkin pie filling, mixing until smooth.  If using, beat in the instant pudding.  Fold in the whipped topping.


A little instant pudding will stabilize the cheesecake, especially if the weather is warm.

Pour the cheesecake filling over the crumb crust.  Spread and smooth the top right to the edge of the pan.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight is even better.

When the cheesecake is ready to serve, run a knife or small spatula around the inside of the pan to loosen.  Then release the spring clamp to remove the cake.  If you have used a regular pie plate serve it directly from the dish.

Place your finished dessert on a lovely serving plate and garnish with remaining whipped topping.   I've sprinkled a little cinnamon sugar over the cream.

 Light and airy. Luscious and delicious.


A piece for me, and...


 Here's a piece for YOU!



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