As part of our overseas journey here in the States, the husband and I have tried to ingratiate ourselves into the real American way of life. We now eat a lot of Mexican food, can pick a good burger from bad, we ask for fries instead of chips, we celebrate American hallmark holidays and occasionally pronounce depot as “dee – poh”.
So our first Thanksgiving here we joined some Australian friends in an expat Thanksgiving. Really, it was mainly a bunch of Aussies trying to figure out what Thanksgiving was really about, and by that I mean: Thanksgiving food.
My friend Nat and I took on the challenge of dessert for all involved. This meant scouring the internet for recipes that were typical of Thanksgiving. We discovered that pumpkin pie was essential, as were plenty of cranberries. Apple had to be on the menu and sweet potato also made many an appearance. Challenged further by needing to make everything gluten free, we tweaked and tweaked and came up with an amazing menu. One item on the menu was pumpkin cheesecakes. We made them without ever having tried them and were surprised how good they were. While the recipe has chopped and changed and evolved since then, I can never forget my friend calling me the morning after thanksgiving and telling me she was having pumpkin cheesecake for breakfast!
This recipe has evolved since then. The spice mix isn’t classic but a mix of spices I think works amazingly with pumpkin. Cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg with a kick of ginger from the crust is what fall is all about for me! Serve with or without cream, delicious either way.
- 70g (1/3 cup) of butter melted
- 150g ginger biscuits
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 block cream cheese at room temperature
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 cup canned pureed pumpkin
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp.clove
- whipped cream to serve (optional)
- Line a muffin tray with liners. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
- In the bowl of your food processor add the biscuits and pulse until finely crushed. Add the butter and mix well. *
- Divide the biscuit mixture between the 12 muffin holes and press down with the back of a spoon. Place the tray in the fridge until the filling is ready.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer or in the bowl of your food processor add the cream cheese and mix until smooth. Add the sugar and mix until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cream, egg, spices and pumpkin. Mix everything together until you have a uniform mixture.
- Divide the filling evenly between the cupcake cases and bake for 20 minutes or until the filling is set. The cupcakes will rise and then sink when they cool down.
- Gently remove the cooled cupcakes from the tray and place in the fridge in an air tight container.
- Serve with optional whipped cream.
* If you don’t have a food processor you can crush biscuits by placing in a ziploc bag and crushing with a rolling pin or mallet.