You can make a whole cheesecake, individual tarts or bite-size tartlettes. I had a similar dessert years and years ago—and never forgot it. I searched and found this recipe—one that is equally memorable—and am so relieved it isn’t just a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There were a number of online options, but I chose this particular recipe from the Food Network.
Okay, yes: I made them with using a mini muffin tin for finger-food at my Halloween gathering (bite-size is perfect for a cocktail party). But NO these are not just for Halloween. As far as I am concerned, pumpkin and ginger flavors can dance their way along the autumn table.
I have actually made these a few times: if using mini muffin tins, insert the gingersnap crust into the tins, then use a small scoop to press into its bowl-like form. Worked like a charm!
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust
4 cups finely crushed gingersnaps
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 T grated fresh ginger
1 LB cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground allspice
Pinch of ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fresh cooked/pureed or canned pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. To make the crust, combine the gingersnap crumbs with the melted butter and toss together until the mixture holds together when pressed. Add an additional tablespoon of melted butter if necessary. Pat evenly over the bottom and halfway up the sides of 8 ( 4 1/2-inch) tart pans. Bake about 7 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven.
Make filling: put the grated ginger in a fine sieve set over a small bowl and press against it to extract the juice. Toss pulp, save juice. In mixer, combine cream cheese, brown sugar, spices and salt. (Note: it is essential you scrape sides with a rubber spatula, to incorporate the cream cheese). Beat until creamy and well combined. Mix in ginger juice and the pumpkin puree. Add the eggs one at a time, combining after each until blended but don’t over beat. Pour the filling into the tart or tartlette pans and bake 25 to 35 minutes—until the center is just firm to the touch. Cool to room temperature then chill at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.
Note: consider serving with dollops of cinnamon whipped cream.