I found this recipe in the current Chefs Catalog. It makes either one nine-inch cheesecake or twelve mini-cheesecakes. These sound so good. I was going to post the recipe closer to Halloween, but if you want to make the minies, you will probably need to order the non-stick mini cheesecake pan pronto. Each well has a removable bottom for easy cake extraction (each round is 1 3/4" deep and 1" in diameter). As they note, the would also be great for mini quiches, tartlets, muffins, hors d'oeuvres and pretty much whatever floats your boat.
1/2 cup gingersnap crumbs
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp. sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
14 ounces of creamcheese (do not use light cream cheese)
1/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Lightly butter the wells of the miniature cheesecake pans.
Crust: Combine ingredients for crust, mix well, divide among the mini cheesecake pans and press into the bottom. Bake crusts about ten minutes, until set. Transfer to a wire rack for cooling, and lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees.
Filling: In a small bowl, combine pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger and nutmetg, and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a flat paddle and set on low speed, beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat well. Add the pumpkin mixture and beat well until full mixed, about 1 minute. Pour the batter over the crusts, dividing it evenly among the pans.
Bake until filling is set, 20-25 minutes. Cool on wire rack, and then refrigerate at least three hours before unmolding.
Before serving, make the cinnamon whipped cream. In a medium bowl, beat the heavy cream, vanilla and cinnamon until soft peaks form. Spoon onto cheesecakes, and sprinkle with nutmeg.
[Cheesecake image via Jackie's Baskets)