Thanksgiving is one of my favourite occasions. I love the idea of a big family get-together where you set up the folding tables, bring in the patio chairs and rearrange your living room furniture just to accommodate everyone.
I have a pretty small family, just myself, my parents and two half-brothers. My brothers live in different parts of the country and we’re rarely able to be together on holidays. So, if I’m making Thanksgiving dinner for my family, it’s usually a pretty intimate affair. Cornish Hens are my go-to replacement for turkey so I’m not eating turkey leftovers into January.
My last partner had a big family and his mother would host an enormous annual Thanksgiving weekend celebration. I loved the sheer volume and variety of food and conversation that came with such a big gathering. One of the perennial favourites at their Thanksgiving feast was a pumpkin cheesecake.
I’ve taken that fall favourite and adapted it for a single serving portion – suited to small and big families alike.
This dish is incredibly easy to make and won’t take more than 20 minutes of your time. I find I always seem to run out of time when I’m hosting a big dinner party, regardless of how meticulously I’m planned my prep. By losing the crust, in favour of ginger snap crumbs, this dessert comes together so much faster than a classic pumpkin pie.
The biggest time commitment here is in assembly. You can go for a rustic look, as I’ve done by just spooning the layers into your trifle glasses or you can opt to pipe it in for a more polished look.
The pumpkin layer has a fantastic creamy texture and delectable flavour thanks to the combination of classic pumpkin pie spices. The Cool Whip cuts the decadence of the pumpkin layer and the ginger snaps add brightness and texture.
So, when you’re asked to go around the table and say what you’re thankful for this year, you can say, “This dessert.”
I can pretty well promise that you won’t be dealing with leftovers of this dessert.
- 12 Ginger Snap cookies crushed into crumbs
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
- 1 package cream cheese 8 oz, softened
- 1 cup pure pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 large tub Cool Whip, thawed
In a medium bowl, combine ginger snap crumbs and butter. Divide the crumbs into your trifle glasses. Gently press crumbs to form an even layer of crust at the bottom of your glasses.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth.
Add pumpkin, vanilla, sugar and spices to the bowl of your electric mixer with cream cheese. Beat until well combined and creamy.
To Assemble the Trifles: Pipe or spoon a layer of pumpkin cheesecake onto the ginger snap crust followed by a layer of Cool Whip. Repeat layers until your trifle reaches the top of your glass or jar.
Store trifles in the refrigerator until ready to serve. If desired, garnish with ginger snap crumbs.
Recipe adapted from: "Simple Cheesecake Trifles." My Baking Addiction. November 2011.