Monday, December 22, 2014

Anna Sultana’s Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins, Maltese Style

One holiday down, one to go.
Happy New Year!!

Everybody is still a bit full from enjoying the fantastic traditional Christmas feast.
But you do need to have something to serve as you watch the big ball coming down.

Pumpkin is a popular ingredient in Maltese cooking, especially in vegetable soups.
Now’s the time for simple finger food items that don’t need to be cut and served.
Ma's Pumpkin Pie is delicious but not exactly finger food.

Have about a cup of leftover pumpkin puree in the fridge?
That’s perfect for mini cheesecakes.
Waste not, want not!

Hint:

Check cheesecake doneness by gently shaking the pan. 
If the cheesecake is done, it will be set except in the centre that will be soft. 
Do not insert a knife into the centre.  
This may make the cheesecake crack during cooling. 


If you’d rather make Ma’s Pumpkin Cheesecake and cut it to serve as small dainties, just do the following:
Line the 9x13-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. 
Prepare the cheesecake batters, then spoon into the prepared pan and swirl. 
Bake in a 350°F oven 45 minutes or until centre is almost set. 
Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours. 
Use foil handles to lift cheesecake from pan before cutting to serve.


                        Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

grease (or paper line) 16 medium-sized muffin cups
Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven.
preheat oven to 325º 

Serves 16

The Crust

Combine in a medium bowl
1 Cup graham wafer crumbs
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
Add
9  Tablespoons margarine, melted
Stir until mixed.
Press the mixture over the bottom of the prepared cups.
Set aside.

The Filling

Separate 
2 large eggs
place the whites in a small mixer bowl and reserve the yolks 
Whip the whites until soft peaks form.

Place in a large mixer bowl
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 Cup sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Beat at slow speed until smooth.
Add
1 teaspoon vanilla
the 2 reserved egg yolks
10 ounces pumpkin (canned or cooked and pureed)
Mix well.
Gently fold in the beaten egg whites until just blended.
Spoon the pumpkin filling into the prepared cups. 
Bake for 30 minutes.
The muffins should be set around the edges, with a slightly soft centre.
Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack 30 minutes.
Refrigerate at least 3 hours.

About an hour before serving remove the mini cakes from the refrigerator.
Run a knife around the edge of the cups and remove the mini cakes.
Garnish with 
whipped cream
Sprinkle with
nutmeg (optional)

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