October 28, 2014

Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Oat-Pecan Crust

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This Sweet Potato Cheesecake is the third recipe in the series I’ve been excitedly working on for Bon Appetit in partnership with Vitamix (the first two are here and here). The Thanksgiving issue (one of my favs each year) is fresh on the stands, so run and grab it! My face is in there! Eep!

As with the previous Bon Appetit x Vitamix recipes I’ve shared, there’s a beautiful Vitamix Professional Series 750 up for grabs. To enter, take a photo of something you make that is inspired by this recipe, post it to instagram with the #VitamixSweepstakes hashtag before 11:59 PM on November 18, 2014 and cross your fingers! Link to full rules at end of post.

This recipe features a buttery Oat-Pecan crust with brown sugar and cinnamon. It’s a rich, nutty change from the standard graham cracker crust, but it has the same crumbly texture that contrasts so nicely against a silky cheesecake filling.

The cake itself is creamy and rich, and stars sweet potato (which is close to the flavour of pumpkin in baking). Lots of ginger, cinnamon and cloves elicit warm and cozy fall feelings. And a generous, pillowy topping of brown sugar whipped cream make this an absolute showstopper at a holiday table.

To cook the sweet potato, prick all over with a fork then bake at 400º for 45-60 minutes, or until tender. Position a foil-lined baking sheet underneath to catch any drips for easier cleanup. Once cool enough to handle, slice in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh. Alternatively, cook in microwave oven in 2-3 minute intervals until tender.

OR, you can make this a pumpkin cheesecake instead by swapping the sweet potato for cooked (homemade or canned) pumpkin puree.

Note that when making whipped cream in the Vitamix, watch closely and stop the machine as soon as you see it firm up a bit. Check it, then pulse again if necessary. This machine is very powerful, so perfect soft peaks take only seconds, and over-whipped cream takes a curdled appearance that you want to avoid.

Full contest rules here. And, once again, I remind you that your photograph will not be judged on how beautiful it is, nor will its subject be judged by how inventive or delicious it was. It’s simply a random draw from all eligible entries. So get in there! I can’t wait to see your submissions!

Ingredients

OAT-PECAN CRUST

  • ? cup whole pecans
  • ? cup large flake oats
  • ? cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ? cup unsalted butter, melted

CHEESECAKE FILLING

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup cooked, cooled sweet potato
  • 1 ½ lbs. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp.ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves

BROWN SUGAR WHIPPED CREAM

  • 2 cups cold whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • cinnamon, for dusting

Preparation

For crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Combine pecans, oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt in Vitamix container and secure lid. Select machine Variable 1, switch machine to Start and slowly increase to Variable 6; blend for 5 seconds. Select Variable 1, pour the melted butter through the lid opening and pulse a few times, until mixture comes together.

  2. Transfer crust mixture to a 9” springform pan, pressing it into the bottom and about 1” up the sides. Bake for 12 minutes, then place pan on wire rack to cool.

For cheesecake filling:

  1. Combine all ingredients in Vitamix container in order listed and secure lid. Select machine Variable 1, switch machine to Start and slowly increase to Variable 10; blend for 10 seconds, using tamper to push ingredients down toward blades as needed.

  2. Bring two quarts of water to a boil in a kettle or on the stovetop. Position the springform pan inside a large baking dish. Pour filling into crust. Create a water bath by pouring boiling water into the outer baking dish until it reaches 1” up the side of the cheesecake.

  3. Carefully transfer cheesecake and water bath to oven and bake 50-60 minutes, until edges are firm and center is just set. Remove springform pan from the water bath and cool cheesecake on wire rack for 1 hour, then transfer to refrigerator to cool completely, about 4 hours. Run a thin knife around inside of pan to release cake. Remove pan sides. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled, or freeze airtight for up to 2 weeks.

For whipped cream:

  1. Just before serving, place cream, brown sugar and vanilla extract into the Vitamix container and secure lid. Select Variable 1, switch machine to Start and slowly increase to Variable 10; blend for about 8 seconds, just until soft peaks form – be careful not to over-process. Pile the whipped cream onto the cooled cheesecake and use a fine mesh sieve to dust cinnamon over top, if desired.

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Hi, I’m Jenn! I’m in the Foodess kitchen making a spectacular mess + making something delicious, in roughly equal parts. So happy that you’ve joined me!

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