No Bake Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

 

I used to make a traditional pumpkin cheesecake every year from scratch using a recipe from a local farm. I would buy a pumpkin (gooseneck or pie pumpkins are best for desserts), roast it for an hour or two, and then purée the innards for a variety of fresh pumpkin desserts. Last year I didn't have the time or patience to make a cheesecake and I seem to have misplaced the recipe. To bring back the seasonal cheer of yore, I bought a pumpkin and decided to create my own no-bake version using cupcake sized molds. 


No-bake cheesecakes are easier to make and allow for a larger margin of chef's error. That being said, no-bake versions tend to be lighter and fluffier (usually because of the addition of whipped cream) and not the standard cheesecake texture. To simulate the stability of baked cheesecake, I used flaxseed as a binder instead of eggs. When mixed with water, flaxseeds (or chia seeds), become gelatinous and can replace eggs in many sweet confections. All of the remaining ingredients are the usual cheesecake suspects. I opted for a combination of cream cheese and ricotta cheese plus sugar and molasses for optimal flavor complexity.

No Bake Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
Makes 12

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground  cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground  nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
3 Tbsp water
1/3 - 1/2 cup sugar, depending on how sweet you like it
1/4 cup molasses
30 ginger snaps
3 Tbsp butter, melted

Pulse the ginger snaps in a food processor until an even, sand-like texture is achieved. Combine with melted butter and divide the mixture over 12 cupcake molds (or cupcake liners inside a muffin pan). Press the mixture into the bottom of each liner to create a flat surface. Place all of the cookie filled liners into the freezer. 

In a small bowl, stir together the ground flaxseed and water. Separately, add all of the remaining ingredients (cream cheese, ricotta cheese, pumpkin, spices, sugar, and molasses) into a large bowl. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, whip the ingredients until evenly combined. Pour in the flaxseed-water mixture and continue beating the cheesecake filling for another minute. 

Remove the crusts from the freezer and distribute the cheesecake filling between the 12 cupcake molds. Freeze the cheesecakes overnight. Eat frozen or thaw for 15 minutes prior to enjoying. 







4 comments:

  1. I luv, luv, luv cheesecake so this is a must try for me! Interesting to find that flax seed/chia seed can substitute for egg in this.

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    Replies
    1. I love that the substitution takes away the need for baking and because it is such a small quantity, there isn't a difference in flavor. I hope you enjoy these!

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  2. Oh my YUM! Megan, this sounds sooooo good! I love no-bake recipes. Definitely pinning this!

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