Oh My Gourd!! by Julia Enzenauer

Oh My Gourd!!


October is finally here, Happy Fall y’all! I don’t know about you, but there is no better time of year in my opinion than the fall. The cool temperatures force us all to get comfy cozy and wonderful fragrances like pumpkin and cinnamon fill the air. Pumpkin patches start popping up all over the place and the cheerfulness that the holidays bring can be felt all around. The energy is full of love and gratitude and it is truly palpable. It is this wonderful each year, that we are reminded of just how blessed we are. Whether we have a lot or nothing at all, we are all here and we all have things to be thankful for. The holidays help me to remember just how blessed I am to have a wonderful family and what better way to show that love than through food! The way to anyone’s heart is through their belly, this is the truth. So in keeping with the theme, I wanted to share a fun fall recipe that will not only be tasty, but will be fall festive when you are spending time with those you love. 

I want to spend some time focusing on pumpkins. I know that typically we think of using pumpkins for decorating purposes, but they are actually great for us and taste amazing in both sweet and savory dishes! Pumpkins are full of vitamins and minerals and have many great health benefits. Certain types of cancer, Heart Disease and Diabetes are just a few illnesses that pumpkins can help defend against. 


Pumpkin Cheesecake (Served in an actual pumpkin, how cute!)

These individual cheesecakes not only make for a festive and delicious dessert, but serving them in a pumpkin is an absolute show stopper! You will be the hostess with the mostest with this one.

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* Feel free to bake this cheesecake into a regular springform pan if you choose *


Ingredients

  • 4 small pumpkins (about 4-5 inches across)

  • 8 ounces of softened cream cheese (room temperature)

  • 1 egg (room temperature)

  • 1 egg yolk (room temperature)

  • 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

  • 1/3 cup of regular sugar

  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

  • approx 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs (for crumbling)

  • whipped cream (optional)


Steps:

* Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

1.) Prepare your pumpkins: cut the tops off of each pumpkin and scrape out the insides. Take extra care to remove all the “guts”, we will be serving our cheesecake inside these pumpkins and nobody wants a mouth full of pumpkin strings. (Set your pumpkin seeds aside, you can roast them and enjoy a healthy and delicious snack!)

2.) In a large bowl or stand mixer, mix your egg, egg yolk, sugar, and cream cheese. ** It is important to use room temperature eggs and cream cheese. Using cold ingredients may cause your batter to become lumpy and this will affect the texture of your cheesecake.**) Once combined, you can add your vanilla, pumpkin puree, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice until your entire mixture is smooth and fully combined.

3.) Carefully fill your prepared pumpkins with your cheesecake filling and place filled pumpkins on your baking sheet.

4.) Bake your pumpkins for 25 - 30 minutes, you will want to make sure your cheesecakes are completely set.

5.) Once done baking, remove cheesecakes from the oven and chill for 1-2 hours. You will want to make sure they are completely set and chilled through.

6.) Before serving, top your cheesecakes with the graham cracker crumbs and whipped cream. Plan to serve your cheesecakes soon after they are ready, the pumpkins will look their best when fresh.


Now not to forget about those pumpkin seeds that you set aside...roast them and use them in a delicious fall granola, homemade trail mix or just snack on them on their own. They are great for you and can be prepared sweet or savory! Happy snacking!


About the Author: Julia Enzenauer

Hello everyone! My name is Julia and I am a busy wife and mom of two amazing and wild babies. I spend my days working in the very rewarding but sometimes challenging field of hospice care and when not working, I’ve got my family to take care of. I love being able to unwind and zen out and I tend to do so while baking. I love getting creative in the kitchen and nobody in the house minds the wonderful smells that come along with that. Since my family has grown, so too has my stress level. I believe it is important to set time for self reflection and meditation. Do this wherever it works for you...for me, it tends to happen in my kitchen while working on a new recipe. Take time for yourself, remember that until you take care of yourself, you wont be the best that you can be for those that you care about. To contact: gudewiczjm@gmail.com