I created a lot of hype regarding this post so here it is! 😀 Pumpkin pie is not for me so I made a cheesecake instead with just a hint of pumpkin & cinnamon! There’s more to this recipe than meets the eye. As cream cheese is expensive & hard to come by in many places, I have used Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) to make this delicious goodness. The crust is made with ground oats – something I use as a base for all my recipes. To top it all off, I have incorporated honey into the cheesecake batter to replace the copious amounts of sugar used. Could this recipe BE anymore awesome?? Seriously, it doesn’t get better than this. Even with so many alterations, the end result is quite the same – that smooth and creamy melt-in-your mouth filling & that crisp biscuit base- Oh what joy!
For the crust :
- Finely ground Oats – 2 cups
- Butter – 1 cup, softened (at room temperature)
- Natural Brown sugar (naatu sakarai) – ½ cup
For the cheesecake filling:
- Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) – 450 grams
- Thick & creamy Curd (Yogurt) – 1 cup
- Eggs – 2 large
- Vanilla essence – 2 teaspoons
- Honey – ½ cup
- Sugar (optional) – 2 tablespoons
For the Pumpkin swirl:
- Pumpkin puree – ½ cup
- Ground cinnamon – 1 teaspoon
- Brown sugar – 2 tablespoons
Preheat the oven to 380 degrees F (190 degrees F). Grease a 9 inch round baking pan with butter. A springform pan is preferable to make the cheesecake.
In a large bowl, combine together ground oats, brown sugar and butter. Mix well until it forms a tight dough. A stand mixer or a food processor makes this job easier so feel free to use it if you own one. Press the dough onto the bottom of the baking pan and then up the sides until evenly coated. Use a fork to make slight incisions into the crust so it bakes evenly and doesn’t puff up.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until light golden.
To begin making the filling, add 1 cup of curd to a blender or mixer. Crumble or grate the paneer and add this to the mixer too. Blend on high until very smooth and creamy. In a large mixing bowl, whisk two eggs and to this pour the blended paneer and curd mixture. Add vanilla essence, honey and give it a good good mix. Everything should be combined well and the batter should be flowy and light yellow. Pour this batter onto the baked crust. If there is excess batter don’t try to fill it all the way to the top. You can pour the leftovers in small glass bowls and bake them into mini cheesecakes.
Mix together all the ingredients mentioned and using a spoon drop a few spots of the puree onto the cheesecake batter leaving enough space between them. Using a toothpick, create swirls by combining the puree and the batter. Don’t overdo it as the swirls will turn messy.
Pop the baking pan into the oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes until the cheesecake is lightly firm but also lightly jiggles when you shake it. A waterbath is not recommended for this type as the cheesecake won’t set properly and the yogurt from the batter will separate & will become curdled. The crust will be golden brown and the top will have a light caramel finish because of the pumpkin puree. Once baked, remove from the oven and cool the cheesecake completely for an hour before refrigerating it.As the cheesecake cools, it will become firm and will be perfectly set. Refrigerate for 6-8 hours before slicing them. Enjoy your smooth and creamy cheesecake but remember to share a slice with friends and family! ;). Keep it refrigerated.