I hate buying specialty cooking items, but my mini cheesecake pan was worth the money. I’m not a dessert person, or a baker (except for pies), but I love cheesecake. Mini cheesecakes are even better than regular cheesecake, and they are great at a party. I served these at my Wicked Wine Tasting, so I not only wanted a cheesecake, but I wanted a glaze that incorporated wine. The Quince Zinfindel (you could use a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot) glaze was the perfect accompaniment for the delicate pumpkin cheesecake. These mini cheesecakes are super easy (spoken from the non-baker) and the recipe could easily be adapted to make a full size cheesecake. This recipe makes 12 mini cheesecakes, but you can easily double or triple.
For the Crust:
- 1 Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs*
- 6 TBS. Unsalted Butter – melted
- 2 TBS. Light Brown Sugar
- 1/8 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. Nutmeg
For the Filling:
- 3/4 Cup Canned Pumpkin
- 16 Oz. Cream Cheese -softened
- 2 Eggs
- 1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. Ground Ginger
- 1/8 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
- Pinch of Ground Cloves
*You can purchase graham cracker crumbs or just run a couple of graham crackers through the food processor.
For the Quince Zinfindel Glaze:
- 1 Cup Quince Paste (available in specialty stores- usually in the cheese section)
- 1/2-1 Cup of Zinfindel (you could substitute merlot or a cabernet sauvignon)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the crust until well blended. You should be able to “pack” the crust so that it holds firm; if not, add more melted butter. Lightly grease the cheesecake pan. Divide the crust between the individual cups in the cheesecake pan; the crust should fill the cups about 1/3 of the way.
Add all of the filling ingredients to a medium bowl and mix until well combined (I use a hand held electric mixer). Divide the mixture between the mini cheesecake cups (each cup should be about 2/3 full). Bake for 14-18 minutes until cheesecakes are well set. Allow cheesecakes to cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes before removing from the pan.
For the glaze: combine the quince paste and wine in a saucepan and heat over medium, stirring constantly, until the paste is melted and blended with wine. Continue to cook over medium until sauce is sufficiently reduced.
Drizzle cheesecakes with the quince glaze and serve.