Pumpkin-Maple & Pecan Cheesecake Tarts by Pastryfied

Pumpkin-Maple & Pecan Cheesecake Tarts by Pastryfied
Difficulty - Medium
Serves - 12 tarts (7.5mm diameter)

Pumpkin-Maple & Pecan Cheesecake Tarts by Pastryfied

Halloween is an occasion for wickedly delightful food, calories be damned. And pumpkins are easily at the summit of the flavor roster when it comes to making Halloween desserts. These tarts are given a kick of spice with the use of Speculaas cookies in the crust, contrasted in texture by the spell-binding and silky pumpkin cheesecake filling, made extra sinful by a slathering of rich and buttery pecan praline on top. Decorated with skull Mascarpone cheesecakes for a touch of ghoul, and accented with ripped edible gold leaf sheets. Because, hey, who says spooky can’t be elegant?

Tips with Butter

When it comes time to add dots of butter to pies and casseroles, use a vegetable peeler and a frozen stick of butter. It’s much less messy!

Ingredients

CRUST:

150g Honey Graham Crackers, finely crushed (or Digestive Biscuits)

100g Speculaas Cookies, finely crushed

50g Soft Brown Sugar

120g Butter, melted

 

FILLING:

200g Pumpkin Puree (or a whole Buttercup pumpkin if making your own)

250g Cream Cheese

100g Soft Brown Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground

1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg, ground

1/4 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

50g Fresh Cream

30g Maple Syrup

2 Eggs, size 7

 

PECAN PRALINE:

150g Pecan Nuts

100g Butter

100g Soft Brown Sugar

100g Fresh Cream

20g Bailey’s (optional)

1/4 teaspoon Salt

 

MASCARPONE CHEESECAKE:

130g Fresh Cream, lightly whipped (keep in the fridge until ready to use)

250g Mascarpone Cheese

75g Maple Syrup

100g White Chocolate, melted

Method

CRUST:

In a large bowl, combine the crushed Graham crackers & Speculaas cookies. Pour in the melted butter and mix until it resembles damp sand.

Grab the 6-hole cheesecake pans and pack down the crumbs evenly at the bottom, creating a tight surface. Chill in the fridge until needed.

FILLING:

If making your own pumpkin puree:

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Cut the pumpkin in half and scrape out the seeds.

Lay on the prepared pans with the skin sides up and roast for up to 1 hour.

Scoop out the flesh and mash until smooth or process for an even smoother finish.

Measure 200g of the puree to put in a bowl and set aside. The extra can be frozen for future use.

PECAN PRALINE:

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Toss the pecan nuts into a baking pan, and toast for about 10 minutes. Don’t let it burn.

Cool down, then chop into pieces. Set aside.

On medium heat, cook the butter and brown sugar until glossy, while gently stirring. Add in the fresh cream, Baileys and salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the syrup is thicker, around 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Dump in the pecan nuts, mixing until the nuts are fully coated in caramel.

Spread on top of the pumpkin cheesecakes.

MASCARPONE CHEESECAKE:

Place the Mascarpone cheese and maple syrup in a bowl, beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add in the melted white chocolate and lightly whipped cream. Fold until mixture is well blended.

Scoop the cheesecake into piping bags with your favorite piping nozzle and pipe on top of the tarts. Then tweeze on some edible gold leaves. This part is optional.

Note: Molds were used for the cheesecake skulls in this recipe, so added a bit of gelatin to keep it together

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