Thanksgiving Goodies

I hope you had a great thanksgiving last weekend. I'm grateful for the magical one I enjoyed with friends and family. I happily buzzed around my kitchie preparing Autumn inspired desserts for our feast.

Pumpkin pie is always a "must"! In years past I've made raw pumpkin pies/cakes and always enjoyed them. I really like the pumpkin mousse tarts with coconut whipped cream that I made last year. The filling is so great on it's own, and is nut-free to boot! Three years ago I made a yummy carrot based raw pumpkin cheesecake.

This year I opted for a vegan Pumpkin Pie by the lovely Gluten Free Goddess, served with a scoop of raw vanilla ice cream. The Universe tested me on this one... First I discovered that my molasses had gone extremely bitter (ok I admit it was a few years old but I thought this stuff lasted forever). So in the middle of preparing the filling I had to walk to the grocery store. That was fine because I needed a lime or orange too. Well, wouldn't you know that I got chatting with someone and forgot it! I used lemon instead. The filling was absolutely delicious but I think I added a bit more liquid to make the cashew cream than I should have - the vita mix definitely wanted more than 2 tablespoons! The pie didn't get all the baking time it called for because it darkened quickly on the top and I didn't have foil to cover it and continue baking, and then the oven started smoking and set off the smoke alarm. Sheesh! As Karina states in the recipe, the pie will set up even more as it chills and I allowed it to do so for 24 hours. I knew it was underdone (stupid oven) but crossed my fingers and said a little prayer, lol. At the moment of unveiling, I got the spring form ring off just fine, it seemed nicely set.... but once I cut in, it was still on the soft side. My guests didn't mind one bit and thoroughly enjoyed, just as I did. The flavor and creamy texture are glorious and the praline (which I wanted to eat all by itself) and crust add a great touch. I decided that leftovers would be best served semifreddo style!

The full Thanksgiving moon was exquisite over the lake...

The second dessert I made was a Cranberry Concord Crape Cheesecake with Cranberry Date Compote. The filling gets extra silkiness from the cacao butter, and the textured compote topping has a nice tartness to contrast the sweet filling. A nice combination.

Cranberry Grape Cheesecake

Crust

1 cup almonds
1/3 cup ground oat groats
3 tablespoons maple sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

In a food processor, grind the almonds into fine crumbs.
Add the remaining ingredients except the oil and blend to combine. Add the oil last and pulse to incorporate.
Press the mixture into the bottom of a 6" or 8" spring form pan (depending on how thick you want it). Set aside.

Filling

2 cups fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups cashews
3/4 cup grape juice
1/3 cup maple syrup or agave
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 drops stevia
5 tablespoons melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons melted cacao butter
2-3 drops orange essential oil (optional)

Blend all but the oil and butter in a high speed blender until smooth and creamy.
Add these remaining two ingredients and blend to incorporate.
Pour the filling over the crust and tap the pan to release air bubbles and even out the surface.
Chill in the fridge for at least 8 hours.

Cranberry Date Compote

1 1/3 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh grape or orange juice
1/2 teaspoon orange zest or 2 drops orange essential oil

Add all ingredients to a food processor and grind together, keeping some texture.
Spread over the chilled cheesecake.

I couldn't resist making a mini tester for myself before it went to the guests 😉

Is it looking like Fall in your area? Check out all the leaves in my parents yard! 
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9 Comments
  1. October 16, 2011 at 15:43
    Reply

    It's always a relief when recipes that you had a few missteps with turn out well. It looks awesome!<br /><br />And so does the Cranberry Grape Cheesecake. The topping with the cranberries and dates is very clever. I will have to try that some time.

  2. October 16, 2011 at 18:00
    Reply

    Gluten Free Goddess' recipes are always so wonderful, aren't they? <br /><br />I had a similar crazy oven mishap (involving some parchment paper catching on fire) when multitask-preparing goodies for Christmas last year!<br /><br />The cranberry-grape cheesecake sounds just gorgeous--we have some lingonberries we harvested (aka low-bush cranberries), may try with those.<br /><br />And thanks for sharing your backlinks too! Glad you had a good Thanksgiving.<br /><br />Yes, Fall is almost over here, it's almost winter for sure!

  3. October 16, 2011 at 19:56
    Reply

    Thanks Ladies!<br /><br />Ela - Parchment catching on fire - yikes! That's no good. Never tried lingonberries - what are they like?

  4. October 16, 2011 at 20:54
    Reply

    That cheesecake looks so good! I love pumpkin pie! Glad you had a nice holiday!

  5. October 16, 2011 at 23:19
    Reply

    yum yum we want a slice!!! that grape cheesecake sounds heavenly!!! love the pics too! <br /><br />HUGS

  6. October 17, 2011 at 04:04
    Reply

    Hmm! They all look delish! Happy belated Thanksgiving.

  7. Aurore
    April 13, 2012 at 17:17
    Reply

    Hi Heather! Thank you for all this amazing recipes! I just bought your book "just desserts" and I'm so excited about it! I was wondering what is the diameter of the mini tart pan you used for your little pumpkin pie and the diameter of the small silicone muffin cup you used for your little Cranberry Grape Cheesecake? <br />Can't wait to try many of your recipes! <br /><br />A bientôt,<br />Aurore

  8. April 15, 2012 at 19:07
    Reply

    Aurore, thanks! I think the little pumpkin pie is 3 or 4" tarte pan. Regular mini muffin cup.

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