I love, love, love fall. The crisp, cool air; the colorful leaves that crunch beneath my feet; and of course, the bountiful fall harvest that includes some of nature’s best gifts. Crisp, sweet apples; creamy butternut squash; and hearty, earthy potatoes. Alas, I’d be remiss if I failed to mention the poster child for fall itself – the humble pumpkin.
Growing up, pumpkin pie was always on our holiday table. It didn’t matter to me at the time that it came from a box found in the freezer section of the grocery store. Pumpkin pie was pumpkin pie.
I can remember the very day that my view on pumpkin pie (and all other desserts for that matter) changed. I had baked off a frozen pumpkin pie to take into work for a holiday potluck we were having. As I arrived to work, one of my co-workers was going on and on about how impressed she was that I actually baked a pie (I was only 17 at the time, so I suppose it would have been impressive if I baked anything from scratch). That is, until she unwrapped it and saw the tin pan that the pie was sitting in. I had been found out. Not that I went to extraordinary lengths to hide my baking incompetence at the time. Technically, I did bake the pie. I just didn’t make it from scratch. I will never forget the disapproving look on my co-workers face. She told me I could do better than that and she was right. From that point on, making delicious desserts from scratch has become an obsession and a passion of mine. So, thank you G!
If you have ever wondered what fall tastes like, look no further. This pumpkin cheesecake tart embodies all the classically spiced, warming flavors of fall without being a heavy, overly rich dessert.
- 16 Biscoff cookies
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- In a food processor, pulse Biscoff cookies until finely crushed
- In a small bowl, combine crushed Biscoff cookies and unsalted butter. Stir until the butter is thoroughly incorporated.
- Lightly spray a 9" tart pan with cooking spray, or line muffin tin with paper liners.
- Press cookie mixture into tart pan, or distribute evenly among a 12-well muffin tin (about 1 tbsp per well).
- Use the bottom of a measuring cup to evenly pack the crust into the pan.
- 1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
- ½c pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ tsp fine salt
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- ½c + 2 tbsp dark brown sugar, packed
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the cream cheese and pumpkin puree on medium-low speed for about 1 minutes.
- Add in pumpkin pie spice, salt, vanilla. Mix for 30 seconds more.
- Add in dark brown sugar. Beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes until thoroughly combined.
- Add in egg, beat for an additional minute on medium-high speed.
- Add filling to prepared 9" tart pan, or divide among prepared muffin tin (about 2 tbsp + 1tsp of filling for each of the 12 wells).
- Bake 9" tart for about 40-42 minutes. Bake muffin sized cheesecakes for about 25 minutes.
- 1c heavy cream
- ¼c pure maple syrup
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip heavy cream and maple syrup on high until soft peaks form.
- Be sure not to over-whip or you will end up with maple flavored butter. =)