I love fall. I love walking with my boys in the morning, hearing the sound of freshly fallen leaves crunching under their footsteps. I love stopping by my local coffee shop, chatting up my favourite barista as she prepares a foamy, spiced latte.
Most of all, I love scrolling through my Instagram feed, smiling at photos of children posing in a pumpkin patch, families picking apples and grandparents joining in for hay rides at a nearby farm. It reminds me that even as generations pass, the harvest is a time of togetherness.
I’m not sure if it’s by design or coincidence, but I tend to entertain more often in the fall months. The bountiful fresh produce offerings make it easy to create one-dish meals and rustic desserts, and my local Walmart is the perfect place to find colourful squash, earthy root vegetables, tree-ripened fruit and crunchy, cruciferous favourites. There is always a large selection of high-quality, locally sourced produce that is refreshed daily.
This fall, to complement the main course, I’ve been experimenting with seasonal appetizers and desserts that feature the best of the autumn harvest. Last month, I shared my recipe for Pear, Brie and Walnut Crostinis, which are a wonderful tribute to fresh Bartlett pears. Today, I’m happy to show you how to make the most of the ever-popular pumpkin! You won’t be able to resist these No-Bake Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes.
Stop by Walmart (try Walmart PickUp if you’re in the GTA!) where you’ll find farm-fresh pumpkins. When cooking with squash, pick one that feels heavy for its size to ensure it’s packed with flesh. Preparing pumpkin purée is not terribly difficult, but if you’re short on time or are simply fine with using the canned variety, that’s perfectly okay too. If you’d like to go the fresh route, check out this easy DIY pumpkin purée tutorial from Walmart Live Better.
The prep for this recipe couldn’t be simpler, and no-bake means less time in the kitchen, and more time with your guests! (Just be sure not to eat an integral ingredient before you start like I did. Oops!)
Here’s what you’ll need:
8 – 250ml mason jars, or a round pie plate
1/2 box Great Value Ginger Snap Cookies, crushed
2 tbsp. butter, melted
8 oz. Great Value Light Cream Cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
12 oz. pure pumpkin purée
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
8 oz. thawed frozen whipped topping, divided
Here’s what you’ll need to do:
In a medium bowl, combined crushed ginger snap cookies with melted butter. Press mixture into the bottoms of the mason jars with a spoon or your fingers (it’s a tight squeeze!). Refrigerate to chill.
In a separate bowl, blend cream cheese, sugars, pumpkin purée, vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice until light and fluffy. Fold in half a container of whipped topping.
Remove mason jars from fridge and spoon the pumpkin mixture over the cookie crust, dividing evenly among eight jars. Top with remaining whipped topping and sprinkle with additional pumpkin pie spice, if desired.
Et voilà! Ready in just 15 minutes, you won’t be able to resist the combination of creamy cheesecake, fluffy topping and crunchy cookie base. My husband, normally not one to devour desserts, took one bite and requested I make this dessert again and again. It’s perfect for large celebrations when you need an easy, fool-proof dessert that can be assembled in a jiffy!
Remember, if you love to cook with fresh ingredients, follow @WalmartCanada on Twitter and participate in their #DiscoverFreshFood contest. You’ll have the opportunity to take fresh food challenges over the next month for a chance to win a $200 gift card! Find some inspiration on their recipe centre.
This post is sponsored by Walmart Canada, as part of the #DiscoverFresh program. In exchange for this review, I have received special perks in the form of products and/or compensation. All opinions on this blog are my own.