Wednesday, December 19, 2012

mini pumpkin cheesecakes




In some families pumpkin pie is reserved, with love, for the Thanksgiving meal dessert. On the other end of the spectrum you have those who eat pumpkin pie nightly - or would - as long as long as it is 'in season'. My dad abominated pumpkin pie (I don't know!?) so I grew up in a family that absolutely never ate it. I married into a family that adores pumpkin pie. I guess my household falls somewhere in what I like to think of as a healthy middle ground. We enjoy a slice of the pie - or the many offspring and relatives of it - over much of the fall and winter, paying special attention at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This sweet little dessert is not a pumpkin pie. But it is undeniably related. Served in mini portions it is just perfect for filling up that empty spot that begs to be filled after a good meal leaving you comfortable but not tipped over into too full. You can feel reasonably noble as well - if you ignore the cream cheese and whipped cream - eating pumpkin and the healthy spices that dress it up. And it is just a little bite.

To make these gluten-free use a gluten-free ginger cookie for the crumb 'crust'. When I make it for our family I make some portions gf and the rest not. To distinguish one from the other I sprinkle a bit of the reserved crumbs on the top of the gf servings. This trick was born after I had made these and thought I would be able to tell the difference from the look of the crumbs. Couldn't really. 

mini pumpkin cheesecakes

16 ginger thins, crushed (I use Anna's)
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup canned pumpkin 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
scant 1/8 tsp nutmeg
pinch of sea salt
1 cup whipping cream 

In a small bowl combine the melted butter with the crushed ginger thins. Divide the crumbs into the bottom of whatever you are using as serving 'dishes'. (I used tiny glasses this time and have used the 4 oz canning jars also - both look really sweet.) Set aside.

In another bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the pumpkin, vanilla, honey and spices. Beat until creamy and smooth. Drop the mixture carefully on top of the crumbs, dividing evenly among the glasses.

Whip the cream and dress your little cheesecakes with a dollop of it. Refrigerate for a couple of hours (at least) before serving.

1 comment:

nita.armstrong@gmail.com said...

these look amazing too! and so easy . . .