If you are using raw pumpkin: Preheat oven to 375F. Cut raw pumpkin into quarters and remove skin. Remove all seeds and stringy insides, then drizzle with olive oil , put on baking sheet, and put in oven for 45 minutes (or until pumpkin is mushy). After it cools, blend until smooth. Scoop out 1/3 cup and set aside for use in the recipe.
Wash cashews, then put them in a bowl full of boiling water. Let them remain, uncovered, for 1 hour and then drain and pat dry.
Add almost all of the walnuts, 20 of the dates and a pinch of salt to blender and process into a mealy dough. It will be very sticky and should form together when you press it between your fingers. If it is too sticky, add more walnuts. If it is too dry and doesn’t come together then add more dates.
This recipe fills four (4) 6-8oz ramekins, this is 8 servings. You can also use muffin tins to make tiny individual sized cakes. You can line with cupcake liners if you choose. If you want the presentation effect: No matter which baking aid you use, cut parchment paper in small circles to line the bottom of each. Then cut 2 thin strips, lay them in an “X” across the well, and put the round cut out on top. This will create tabs so you can lift the cheesecake out and display it on a plate.
Put a small amount of the crust in each well, push it flat, and add enough so a small amount goes up on the side. Make sure you divide evenly. Then put them in the freezer to solidify.
At this time, cashews will be done. Place cashews, and all other filling ingredients into a blender, and blend until completely smooth. This will take a couple of minutes. Do not let your blender get hot, though. If it has trouble blending, add a little almond milk or coconut milk. This is also where you can adjust the seasoning for flavor.
Pour filling into each well, and lightly shake and tap them to ensure trapped bubbles dislodge. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and put into freezer for 5 hours. After firm, and when you are ready to eat, set on the counter for 20 minutes to thaw, and use a knife to go around the outside of the cheesecake. Pull the tabs to remove.
These can last in the freezer for up to two weeks.