In the US, we celebrated Thanksgiving this past Thursday. I had planned to make “twice baked” cauliflower and these individual pumpkin cheesecakes for dessert. Michael decided to try his hand at low-carb crab cakes, which I served with slices of vine ripened tomato.

But the cheesecakes were really what I wanted. Let’s face it: I love dessert, I love baking and I have done very little of it on low-carb (my desserts tend to be things like homemade splenda-sweetened whipped cream with sugar-free jell-o or some fresh berries). This recipe turned out well – but definitely needs the time in the fridge. I made these on Wednesday and they were much better chilled overnight or at least for a few hours.

I actually made my own pumpkin puree – it was pretty easy. I took a pie pumpkin, cut it in half and took out the seeds and the sticky membrane around the seeds, oiled the pumpkins (you could just spray them) and set them on a cookie sheet and then into a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for forty minutes (or until the skin is deeper in tone and wrinkled). Took them out, let them cool, peeled the skin off and then chopped the pumpkin into smaller chunks (an inch or two big) then just took my immersion blender to them. You could easily use a food processor or a blender, but I love my immersion blender for these tasks (it is much easier to clean). I didn’t season this pumpkin puree because I wanted to be able to use it for savory or sweet dishes. One pie pumpkin provided a little more than two cups of puree. Making your own puree is a completely unnecessary step – the canned pumpkin (not the canned pumpkin pie filling) will work perfectly.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups

Individual Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups

Ingredients:

For the Crust
1/4 cup Almond Meal/ Flour
2 tablespoons Butter, Melted
1 teaspoon Powdered Erythritol
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon

For the Filling
8 oz Cream Cheese (1 package), Softened
1/3 cup Powdered Erythritol
1/4 teaspoon Molasses (if desired)
1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
1 large Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon each ground Allspice; Ginger and Nutmeg
Additional sweetener (equivalent to 1-2 tablespoons sugar)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Get out a cupcake/muffin pan and put liners in six of the cavities. If you don’t have liners (like I didn’t) you could cut rounds of parchment paper and grease the cavities in the muffin pan (this is messy and liners are so much easier… and prettier). Mix together the ingredients for the crust and then pat the crust into the liners of each of the six cavities you’re using.

Move onto the filling – I started by putting the 1/3 cup Erythritol in a small bowl and mixing the 1/4 teaspoon of Molasses into that. Why molasses? To give it a richer, more brown sugar-y feel. Also, I am stupidly in love with molasses. If you don’t want to add the molasses, no big deal. Mix the cream cheese with the erythritol, pumpkin, egg, vanilla and spices. At this point I tasted my filling and decided it could use some additional sweetness, so I added some liquid splenda – the equivalent of probably 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Once the mixture is smooth, fill each of the liners to the top of your pan and then place it in the oven for 15-20 minutes.  Once they’re done, I let mine rest for about an hour or so and then moved them to the fridge to cool. Cooling overnight is preferred, and man are they good with the morning cup of coffee. This recipe made six servings.

Nutrition Information (per serving):
Calories: 210 kcal
Fat: 19 g
Saturated Fat: 11 g
Total Carbohydrate: 3.5 g
Fiber: .5 g
Protein: 4.9 g

Net Carbohydrate: 3 g