Pumpkin Satin Cheesecake
Yield: 2 pies (16 servings total)These can be made up to 2 weeks ahead and frozen until serving. They're guiltfree, too -- each serving has fewer than 6 grams of fat and only 142 calories.
Ingredients:1 8-ounce package fat-free cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons plus 1 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 8-ounce container frozen Cool Whip at refrigerator temperature
2 6-ounce prepared graham cracker piecrusts (or, if preferred, 2 homemade cracker crusts)
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
2 3.4 ounce packages vanilla instant pudding mix
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Garnish: whipped topping, graham cracker crumbs
Instructions:Remove plastic lids from pie crusts and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese, 2 tablespoons skim milk, and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy. Whisk in Cool Whip Free. Divide the cream cheese/whipped toping mixture between the 2 piecrusts. In another medium bowl, combine pumpkin, 1 cup milk, pudding mix, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Layer ech pie with half the pumpkin mixture. Cover with inverted piecrust lids and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or freeze. If you freeze pies, thaw the whole pie in the refrigerator for an hour before serving.
*Note from the Food Editor: We had three people test this recipe in three different kitchens, and it turned out well each time. But we have heard from some readers who have had difficulty with this recipe. Based on what we've learned from these readers, we do have a few words of advice: Do not overmix the bottom layer of the pie. Mix just enough to blend. Also, you might try refrigerating or freezing the pie for 30 minutes after you add the first layer, but before you add the second. Lastly, do not make the top layer until you are ready to spread it, because the pudding mix will thicken as it sits.
*I've also heard from a few readers who tried making this pie with sugar-free pudding mix. We don't recommend that you try this, as that mix contains all sorts of different fillers, which will result in a very different consistency. Also, if you find that the topping is too thick, even with the full cup of milk, feel free to add a little more until it reaches a better consistency.