I have this love/hate relationship with my freezer. It's the land of the plentiful in that it holds everything that I'm not going to eat/use immediately but it's also a death trap. Things go in there and sometimes they don't resurface for months.
Last Thanksgiving, Popo gave me a bit of pumpkin puree but I was completely pumpkin-ed out to want to do anything with it so it went in a container in the back of my freezer. But, by the time I wanted to use it, it was spring-time so it remained dormant until a few weeks ago.
In my last post, I described how I'm not one to make food items that are "seasonal" but in the case of pumpkin, there is a time and a place known as fall.
Usually, I shy away from too many pumpkin-flavored things. Sometimes it goes a bit too far. But, I will participate in pumpkin pie, breads, cookies and cakes which does include cheesecake. I got these pans for Christmas last year so it was definitely time to use them for cheesecake purposes.
These cheesecakes have a graham cracker crust that gets baked before the filling is poured on top. Once you are ready to bake the whole thing, it is important to remember to cover the bottom securely with foil so that no water leaks in during the water bath. If you don't you'll have soggy crusts and it will be a sad occasion indeed! Trust me, I would know because it happened to two out of three of these.
But, if you do it right, you'll have nice fluffy cheesecake with a crisp crust to welcome you into all things pumpkin.
We return to apples, next time.
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
Yields: 3 Mini Cheesecakes
- ¾ cup crushed graham crackers
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 8 oz package cream cheese, at room temperature
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Evenly distribute ⅓ of the crust mixture into each mini springform pan. Press in the bottom with the back of a spoon.
Bake for 7 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF.
Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the rest of the ingredients until well combined. Evenly spoon the batter into the 3 mini springform pans, smoothing the top.
Cover the bottom of each pan with foil. Place the cheesecakes in a pan filled with an inch of water.
Bake for 40 minutes or until the center isn't jiggly or an inserted tooth pick comes out clean.
Remove from the water bath and set to cool completely before serving. Serve with whipped cream if desired.