Pumpkin Cheesecake with Candied Cranberries

Kathryn Hostettler, who received Honorable Mention in Vegetarian Times’ 2009 Reader Recipe Contest for this recipe, works as a pet nanny and volunteers for Rogers’ Rescues, a virtual dog rescue.

Candied Cranberries
2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained
2 cups {sugar}, plus more for coating cranberries
1  small pkg. vegan graham crackers (10 sheets of crackers)
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 ounces nonhydrogenated vegan margarine, melted
Cheesecake Filling
12 ounces soft tofu, drained
8 ounces vegan cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup canned pumpkin purée
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh {nutmeg}
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
To make candied cranberries: Prick each berry several times with needle. Bring sugar and 2 cups water to a boil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook 7 to 10 minutes, or until sugar reaches 230° on candy thermometer. Add cranberries, and cook 10 minutes, or until syrup jells when dropped from tip of spoon. Remove berries with slotted spoon, and cool. Roll cranberries in sugar to coat. Set aside, or store up to 4 days.

To make crust: Preheat oven to 350°. Process graham crackers and salt into fine crumbs in food processor. Add margarine, and pulse to combine. Press mixture into bottom and halfway up sides of 9-inch springform pan.

To make cheesecake filling: Purée all ingredients in food processor 3 to 5 minutes, or until very smooth. Pour into crust, and bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until cheesecake filling is set. Cool on wire rack, then chill completely in refrigerator, at least 3 hours or overnight. Slice and garnish each serving with candied cranberries.

Ease of Preparation: Moderate

Preparation Time: 40 min

Cook Time: 70-80 min

Servings: 16

Recipe By: Kathryn Hostettler

From: Vegetarian Times 2009 Reader Recipe Contest

Nutrition Facts
As prepared, each serving contains 270 calories, 7g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 188mg sodium, 0g total carbohydrate and 3g protein.