We are starting our third week without a kitchen. We are making progress, though! A wall went up today and the old floor came out. The windows are ready to be replaced and we have decided on cabinets…so although the end is not really in sight it is at least being imagined. In the meantime, we were grateful to have spent last weekend at our home away from home (which does have a kitchen) and decided to make the most of it. I lugged so many ingredients out of the basement (where we are currently storing our entire kitchen) and packed them into bags to drive them an hour away from our real home so that I could make this incredibly fall-like and delicious cheesecake. It was not until I got there that I realized I left the mixer at home. We went old school and broke out the hand mixer. I have never missed my twenty-year-old KitchenAid so much. How was it done before the time of mixers?!
This is a super easy recipe that we decided to make in mini cheesecake tart forms. We started with the crust which was simply a graham cracker crumb, melted butter, and sugar mix. It was pressed into the greased tart pans (which have those pop-out bottoms that I just LOVE for the perfect release). The filling consisted of one 8oz brick of cream cheese, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of canned pumpkin, a splash of vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, and 1 egg. The ingredients were mixed together until just blended and then placed in a 350 f. oven for about 40 minutes – or until centers were just set. Because we were using mini pans we kept a close eye on the progress to catch them just in time to take out. We let them cool completely and then topped them with (don’t judge us…remember we are without a real kitchen at the moment) Jell-O white chocolate pudding which we made with less milk than required to ensure a thick cream. We allowed them to set for about four hours in the fridge and then topped with shaved Mast Brothers Maple Chocolate.
The little tiny slices were the perfect size for a mid-day treat in our Berkshire retreat where the leaves have all nearly turned and the weather was cool and crisp. The delicate maple flavor of the chocolate combined with the pumpkin was an incredible match. And (brace yourselves) the Jell-O white chocolate pudding actually made this cheesecake seem quite special. We might be going all out on pumpkin and apple recipes in the next few days. Fall is finally here and we want to embrace every minute of it.