Seminole Pumpkin Cheesecake

I am obsessed with a local badass southern heirloom squash, the Seminole Pumpkin. It grows well here here, tastes amazing, stores a long time and is super versatile in the kitchen. Plus it has a wonderful story, evolving hand in hand with native tribes living in Florida. It sustained them, and they coaxed forth an edible squash that thrived in the hot, humid climate, and poor soils of Florida.
Check out their diversity of shapes, colors and sizes! I am certain that over the years especially as it’s gained popularity among gardeners, that they’ve become cross-pollinated with other Cucurbita moschata.
Filling
About 1.5-2 cups pureed Seminole pumpkin
2 packages of cream cheese
3 eggs
generous squirt of honey
lots of spices: generous chunks of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and a dash of cayenne pepper
vanilla extract
Crust
roasted nuts (I used approx. 2 cups of mixed walnuts, cashews and almonds)
dark chocolate chips
coconut oil
about a tbsp or so of butter
dried dates
dried apricots
Chocolate Sauce
melted dark chocolate chips
coconut oil
For crust, blend up all the dried stuff in a food processor till crumbly then add the fruits and oils till you get a doughy kinda greasy thing. Press it flat into a springform cake pan. Put it in the fridge while you make the cake.
For the filling, I used the food processer to puree the pumpkin so it was really smooth with no chunks. Add the cream cheese till nice and smooth followed by the eggs and all the spices. I used chunks of fresh ginger so need to make sure these get good and crushed, that’s why some pieces had “hairs” in them I believe they were ginger fibers. Once the batter is nice and creamy and whipped, pour it into the cake pan.
Cook about about 370 for approx. 45 -60 minutes until the outside rim of about 2″ is firmish, and the center may be jiggly but not soupy. There may be some cracking too. Let it cool for awhile before putting in the refrigerator, where it will need to chill about 4 hours before eating. Once it was sufficiently cooled I added the melted chocolate topping then put back in fridge to let that harden and finish chilling. I cheated and melted the chips in the microwave on low heat with coconut oil, stirring frequently till it was nice and runny. The proper way is in a double boiler on the stove. But it worked and there were less dishes 🙂 You could probably make the topping spicy if you wanted, or salty?

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