Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake

Today at Life As Mom, Jessica is doing a swap of pumpkin recipes. I thought that I'd post a tasty recipe for mini pumpkin cheesecakes. A few years ago during the holidays, I sent away for a free set of four mini-cheesecake pans from Philadelphia Cream Cheese. For awhile there, I kept making these little cakes, wrapping them individually and then freezing them to eat later. I guess I didn't think that Brett and I should eat an entire cheesecake by ourselves and I didn't want to only make them on special occasions. So, the mini-cheesecake was a great solution for us.

Originally, this recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake came from Cook's Illustrated (a great but sometimes complicated magazine). Unfortunately, I can't get my hands on the issue so I'm not quite sure what I've changed if anything...or if I just adapted the recipe for my mini-cheesecake pan. But, I'm pretty sure that you could just use a large springform pan if you don't have mini ones. I just might need to break out the pans and make some this week!


Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake
Servings: 4 Mini-Cheesecakes


Crust Ingredients:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3 Tablespoons butter, melted


Crust Directions:

  1. Mix crumbs, sugar and spices together. Drizzle melted butter over and mix until evenly moistened.

  2. Spray mini springform pans with cooking spray. Press 1/3 cup of the mixture into each mini pan.

  3. Bake at 300 until fragrant and browned around the edges, about 7 minutes. Cool on wire rack while making filling.


Filling Ingredients:
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 can pumpkin (about 7½ ounces)
1 ½ packages cream cheese (12 ounces total), cut into chunks & left to soften about 30 minutes
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 eggs, left at room temperature about 30 minutes
1/2 cup heavy cream


Directions:

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325.

  2. Whisk sugar, spices and salt in a small bowl; set aside.

  3. Remove excess moisture from pumpkin. Line a baking sheet with a triple layer of paper towels. Spread pumpkin on paper towel in a roughly even layer. Cover with another triple layer of paper towels and press firmly until towels are saturated. Peel back top layer of towels and discard. Grasp bottom of towels and fold pumpkin in half; peel back towels. Repeat and flip pumpkin onto baking sheet; discard towels.

  4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese at medium speed to break up and soften slightly, about 1 minute. Scrape beater and bottom and sides of bowl well with rubber spatula. Add about 1/3 of sugar mixture and beat until combined. Scrape bowl and add remaining sugar in two additions, scraping bowl after each addition. Add pumpkin, vanilla and lemon juice and beat at medium speed until combined; scrape bowl. Add eggs and beat until incorporated. Add heavy cream and beat at low speed until combined. Using spatula, scrape bottom and sides of bowl and give a final stir by hand.

  5. Wrap the bottom of the springform pans with a double layer of foil and set in a roasting pan. Pour about 1 cup of filling into each pan and smooth surface. Set roasting pan in oven and pour enough boiling water to come up about halfway up side of pans.

  6. Bake at 300 for 40-45 minutes or until centers are almost set. Run a knife around the rims to loosen cakes. Set roasting pan on wire rack and cool until water is just warm. Remove pans from roasting pan and cool on wire rack until barely warm. Cool before removing rims of pans. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

3 comments:

FishMama said...

Sounds yummy! And I have those pans, too. But, I think I could justify making a big one for the whole fam.

Janel said...

They are yummy. I think I made them for Thanksgiving the year that you moved to KS.

amysfinerthings said...

MINI cheesecakes. That's a great idea... don't "have" to eat it all at once!