Kate Heyhoe

Kate's Global Kitchen

by Kate Heyhoe


Low-Fat Pumpkin Cheesecake
is "Beta"

Beta-carotene is found in its highest concentrations in orange and yellow vegetables and fruits, including pumpkin and winter squashes. One of the most popular ways Americans consume pumpkin (a truly native American vegetable) is of course in pies. This recipe—by the decidedly French chef Jean-Pierre Brehier—features pumpkin in a sweet but low-fat version of another all-American favorite: cheesecake. Pumpkin  

Low-Fat Pumpkin Cheesecake

A year after I prepared this cake on the Today Show, I was still receiving requests for the recipe. Try to make it the day before so it can thicken to the proper consistency.

Makes 16 slices

1 cup cooked couscous
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
24 ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened
6 ounces low-fat sour cream
4 egg yolks
1 cup sugar, divided
8 ounces canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange extract
4 egg whites

To make the crust, place the couscous in a food processor sifted with the metal blade and process until finely crushed. Add the confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder and, while the blade is turning, add a few drops of water. Press the mixture evenly and firmly onto the bottom of a springform pan, making a fist and using the back of your hand and fingers. Refrigerate the crust while you make the filling.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese until smooth. On low speed, add the sour cream. Add the egg yolks, 1/2 cup of the sugar, the pumpkin, and the vanilla and orange extracts.

In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer with clean, dry beaters to beat the egg whites; start at low speed and increase the speed as peaks form. Slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. When the whites are stiff but not dry, gently fold in the cream cheese-and-pumpkin mixture.

Pour the batter into the pan with the prepared crust. Bake approximately 1 hour, until the cake has risen and browned slightly and it just shimmies when you gently move the pan. It's a good idea to place the springform on a low, flat pan such as a pizza pan to catch any batter that leaks. Turn the oven off and let cake stand in oven for 1 more hour. Remove from the oven and cool at least 6 hours before serving. You can make this cake a couple days ahead.

Recipe from
Incredible Cuisine with Chef Jean-Pierre Brehier
by Jean-Pierre Brehier
Time-Life Books, 1997

Beta-Carotene Recipes

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This page originally published as a Global Gourmet Today column in 1998.

Copyright © 2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.

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This page modified January 2007

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