Thanksgiving made easy: No bake cheesecake

When I think of Thanksgiving, I automatically think of turkey, gravy, stuffing, roasted vegetables and, best of all, the desserts. Pie and tarts are the traditional hearty desserts to cap off a Thanksgiving meal but, this year, I wanted something that’s quick and easy to whip up: no bake caramel apple cheesecakes.

Although I was trying a new recipe, and getting tired of apple pie or pumpkin pie, I still wanted a dessert that tasted festive — like the aromatic spices and flavours of pumpkin pie. The texture of the whipped cream is also a lot less dense than regular cheesecake, making this light dessert a savoury sweet end to the fall festivities. This is exactly why my no bake cheesecakes are the perfect alternative dessert for Thanksgiving!

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Yields: 6 small cheesecakes

Ingredients

    For the crust:
  • ¾ cup of ground pecans (you can buy them already ground, or grind them yourself by placing them in a blender)
  • 1 tbsp. of sugar
  • 2 tbsp. of melted butter
    For the cheesecake filling:
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of nutmeg (or more, if you desire)
  • 2/3 cup applesauce
  • 2 cups whipped cream (you can use homemade whipped cream, or frozen whipped cream)
    Toppings:
  • Caramel sauce (homemade or store bought)
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Instructions

For the crust:
Stir together the ground pecans, sugar and melted butter in a small bowl until evenly combined. Spoon approximately two tablespoons of the mixture into your serving dish, and press in the bottom to make an even crust. If you are using a cake pan, place the entire mixture into the pan and press in the bottom. Set aside.

To make cheesecake filling:
When using the softened cream cheese, try breaking it up into little chunks so that beating it with other ingredients is faster and more effective. Place the sugar, cream cheese, cinnamon and nutmeg in the mixer using a whisk to combine. Mix until fully blended, approximately a minute.

Once blended, add the applesauce and beat again until combined for about two minutes (this is to ensure there are no lumps from the applesauce). Then, carefully fold the prepared whipped cream into the mixture until combined. Then, spoon the batter into prepared dishes and drizzle with caramel sauce. You may add extra whipped cream for decorating if you like.

Tips:
Try straining the applesauce before incorporating it into the batter. This will save time with beating it for longer to ensure there are no lumps.

Keep cheesecakes refrigerated, but take them out 10-15 minutes to serving.

Also, with this dessert, there are endless ways for you to present it! You can make it in a regular square cake pan, shot glasses, jars, glass cups or even wine glasses if you’re feeling adventurous enough!

Recipe adapted from gimmesomeoven.com

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