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How Sweet It Is

November 27, 2010

…to eat this dessert.  Last week at my momma’s, I found myself glued to the Food Network for some time.  In the middle of the night, Jonathan and I saw a Thanksgiving edition of The Best Thing I Ever Ate.  When Jeff Henderson mentioned Sweet Potato Cheesecake made by Harriet’s Cheesecakes, I nearly fell out of my seat!

Can you imagine?  All of the sweetness, the tenderness, the pure buttery, spicy sensation of sweet potato pie with the fluffy, melt-in-you-mouth texture of cheesecake.  Then add  heavy whipped topping and sweet crunchy pecans.  Ohhhhhhh…..yum!

I can’t wait to try Harriet’s, but for this Thanksgiving, I enjoyed my own version.  High five to my first homemade cheesecake!

Sweet Potato Cheesecake
Fills a 9 1/2  inch pie pan, Serves 12
Inspired by Harriet’s Cheesecakes

Ingredients:
Graham Cracker/Oatmeal Crust:
1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c. oatmeal, blended to flour
2 Tbsp brown sugar
3 heaping Tbsp yogurt, plain flavor

Sweet Potato Center:
1 small-medium sweet potato, about 12 oz
1/3 c. milk
16 oz cream cheese
1 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs (replacer), I used Ener-G
2 Tbsp tapioca or corn starch
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp clove
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c. crushed raw pecans
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup

To Do:
1: Preheat oven to 350°F.
2: In a medium bowl, blend together graham cracker crumbs, oatmeal flour,  2 Tablespoons brown sugar and plain yogurt. Mix until the blend is not crumbly.  Using your fingers, press mixture into the bottom of a 9 1/2 inch pie pan. Leave the sides crust free.  Bake for 5-8 minutes.  Crust should be firm, but still bounce back if pressed.
3: While crust bakes, skin sweet potato and cube.  Boil with water until soft.  In a blender or food processor, purée potato with milk until smooth and creamy. Should  produce about 1 1/2 cup sweet potato mixture.
4: In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese and granulated sugar. Mix in eggs (replacer) and tapioca starch. Fold in sweet potato purée. Pour mixture over pie crust.  Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes or more before adding the whipped topping and nuts.
5: Use a mixer to whip heavy cream to a thick fluffy texture. Begin at a low speed, just until the cream begins to stiffen, add vanilla, then mix on high until it holds peaks (is thick and fluffy).
6: Heat a small sauté pan on low-medium heat and toast pecans. Stir often. Just as the pecans become fragrant, remove from heat.   Stir in 1 Tablespoon brown sugar and maple syrup.
7: Remove cheesecake from freezer.  Carefully spread whipped cream over the top. Sprinkle pecans around the edges.
8: Freeze for at least an hour before serving.  Bring to room temperature right before plating.


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