Creamy pumpkin tart

Photographer: Emma

Having never visited the USA or Canada, I can’t tell you a story about Thanksgiving.  I’ve seen Planes, Trains and Automobiles and know how important it was for Steve Martin to get home to his family for this holiday but figured that probably wasn’t enough material to write the Thanksgiving post!

So I did a bit of research and found conflicting stories about how and where the tradition began.  Whether you believe in giving thanks to God, the end of the harvest, the formation of your country or the homecoming of an explorer, the modern celebration seems to centre round family, friends and food.  While we may not fully understand the history, we can definitely relate to that in the Southern Hemisphere. 

In addition to Steve Martin and John Candy (RIP), I also think of pumpkin pie when someone mentions Thanksgiving – although having not had enough experience making or eating this dessert, I thought I had better not mess with a classic.  I have however made and eaten a lot of baked cheesecake so I thought I would combine the two.  What resulted was a rich and decadent dessert which although we demolished at work would be perfect to share with 12 of your loved ones.


1 packet of digestive biscuits (250g)
120g butter, softened

400 – 500g baked pumpkin (bake in the oven with a little oil until soft)
250g cream cheese, softened
1 large egg
½ cup light brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp rock salt


1. Line the base of a cake tin (preferably loose bottom but not necessary) with baking paper. Grease the sides of the tin with butter.
2. Process the biscuits and butter in a food processor and press into the cake tin. Refrigerate the base.
3. Preheat your oven to 160ºC on Bake.
4. Process the baked pumpkin, cream cheese, egg, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and rock salt in the food processor until smooth.
5. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the refrigerated base. Bake cheesecake in the oven for 45 minutes – 1 hour or until the cream cheese mixture is firm (tap the top lightly).

I covered the cheese cake in a peanut caramel sauce. To make this, add ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water in a sauce pan. Cook over a low heat until the sugar syrup colours a caramel brown and thickens. Add peanuts and pour the syrup over the cheesecake once both are cool.