This is my from-scratch version of my prize-winning recipe. I'm not gloating -- I still can't believe that such a non-creative recipe won anything.
I'm not a big fan of boxed mixes. Yes, they're convenient, but they also contain ingredients that I don't want to eat. Even graham crackers contain partially hydrogenated ingredients, so I try to avoid those, too. And you won't miss them in this flavorful crust.
My drizzles were a bit thick -- I was in too much of a hurry to finish -- but they tasted great.
This recipe will work in a 9x12 pan; but I used an 8x8 pan (which has been eaten) and two 4-1/2" springform pans (which were frozen).
Pumpkin Streusel Cheesecake Squares (From-Scratch Version)
Source: Judy's Kitchen
Crust: 1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup broken gingersnaps (I used my homemade gingersnaps.)
1 cup flour (I used King Arthur white whole wheat)
1/3 cup pecans
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter diced
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9x12 pan with parchment paper that hangs a bit over the short sides.
Place all ingredients except butter in work bowl of food processor. Pulse to combine with 2 quick pulses. Add butter and pulse in quick, short motions until butter is worked in but still visible. Reserve 1 cup of mixture for topping; press remaining on bottom of pan. Bake about 10 minutes, or till mixture is set and starting to brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Filling: 1 cup pumpkin, canned or fresh roasted (I used roasted butternut squash that I had frozen)
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 Tbsp. rum
2 (8-oz) pkgs. Neufchatel cheese
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. heavy cream
AdditionalTopping: Purchased or homemade caramel sauce
Purchased or homemade chocolate sauce
In small saucepan, cook pumpkin, sugar, and spice over medium heat till sputtering, stirring often. Continue to cook till excess liquids evaporate. (The entire process should only take about 5 minutes, depending on which kind of squash you use -- canned pumpkin tends to have less liquid than fresh and will not take as long.) Transfer pumpkin mixture to work bowl of food processor. Add rum and cheese and pulse till combined and smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, pulsing till combined after each. Add flour and cream and pulse just till combined. Pour mixture over crust; sprinkle with reserved topping and bake 35-40 minutes, or till center is set. Cool on wire rack completely, then refrigerate several hours or overnight. Before serving, drizzle with chocolate and caramel sauces. Yield: 24 servings