Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake

I recently spent a few days with a good friend who loves cheesecake.  In fact it’s entirely possible that over a four day trip we ate at The Cheesecake Factory three times!  I came home from the visit inspired to try some new cheesecake recipes.

I thought pumpkin would be a fitting flavor to try first.  The recipe yielded a rich and delicious, lightly spiced cheesecake that would be the perfect addition to any holiday dessert menu.

I made 12 mini cheesecakes using a mini cheesecake pan (I found mine at Home Goods, but they are easily available on-line from Amazon or Sur la Table).  The mini cheesecakes may be a tiny bit of extra work to deal with initially, but once baked and cooled, they make a perfect small serving, with no cutting needed.

This recipe can also be made into one large cheesecake.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

This cheesecake can be made as minis (as pictured) or as a full sized cheesecake, with equally delicious results. The proportions for 12 mini cheesecakes are listed first, with the ingredients for a full sized cheesecake below.

Yield: 12 Mini Cheesecakes (or one 9" Cheesecake)

Ingredients:

(12 Mini Cheesecakes)
Crust-
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Filling-
1 (8oz.) package cream cheese
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
pinch of cloves
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

(9 inch Cheesecake)
Crust-
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Filling-
3 (8oz) packages cream cheese
1 (15oz) can pumpkin puree
3 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350*F

For mini cheesecakes-
Preheat oven to 350*F
Prepare crust by combining crust ingredients in a small bowl. Mix to combine with a fork. Add one rounded tablespoon of moist crust crumbs into each mini cheesecake space. Use a small bottle (such as a spice bottle, or a shot glass) to press down the crumbs, to form a crust.

Prepare the filling-
Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin, eggs, sour cream, sugar and spices. Blend until combined. Add flour and vanilla, and beat until well combined.
Pour filling into prepared crusts. Divide batter amoung the 12 spaces.

Bake mini cheesecakes in pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool about 15 minutes. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours minimum.

For a large (9") Cheesecake- Follow general directions above. Press crust into the botom of a 9" springform pan. Prepare filling (as listed above). Bake cheesecake 1 hour. Cool 15 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours before serving.

The cheesecake can be stored in the refrigerator up to 2 days.
Top finished cheesecakes with freshly whipped cream.

Recipe source- Adjusted slightly from Paula Deen, 2007

This is a perfect dessert for the busy holiday season.  The cheesecake can be made up to 2 days ahead of time, and stored in the refrigerator.  Top your chilled cheesecakes with fresh whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon for a delicious and festive treat.