Besides flowers or a day off, there isn’t anything mothers would like better for their special day than some kind of dessert. Make them feel special by making this pumpkin cheesecake that is to die for.

This one has an awesome crust and delicious filling, and it will have mom and the rest of the family clamoring for more. I won’t lie to you; this is not a quick recipe, but once you take that first bite, you’ll realize it was well worth the time that you put into it.

There are mostly healthy ingredients in this recipe, but you must use some sugar. There is no cheese involved. You’ll use a cream-cheese substitute. The most popular one and easiest to find is Tofutti.

For the filling, you’ll use tofu. I write about this plant-based food on a regular basis in this column. Tofu is very high in protein and is cholesterol-free. Serve it up, and make sure you provide vegan whip cream to put on top. Make pumpkin cheesecake the perfect end to a perfect day for your perfect mom, and enjoy that vegan thing.

CRUST:

2 cups finely ground dairy-free graham crackers

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup canola oil

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of salt

Cooking spray

PIE FILLING:

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup cashews or walnuts

1 container extra-firm silken tofu

1/2 cup vegan cream cheese (we use Tofutti)

2/3 cup natural granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, or more to taste

11/2 cups well-baked, coarsely mashed sugar pumpkin or butternut squash

CRUST:

Combine the cracker crumbs, maple syrup, canola oil, cinnamon and salt in a food processor. Mix until the ingredients just hold together. It should only take a few seconds. Press the mixture into the pan with your hands. Bake for around 10 minutes or until golden brown. Then allow to cool.

FILLING:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the chocolate chips and nuts in a food processor and mix. Place the mixture in the cooled pie crust and spread out evenly and then set the dish aside. Combine half the tofu, half the cream cheese and half the sugar in a food processor and mix until smooth. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and smooth it out with a spatula. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the mixture is set and the crust is golden. Let the pie cool, slice it up and enjoy.

 

Jeff Peterson anchors the 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. news on WGME-TV and is a vegan.