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Thanksgiving Nostalgia: Gingersnap Pumpkin Cream Tart

Do you suffer from overwhelming food nostalgia? Does the scent of pumpkin pie and gingersnaps induce a salivating stupor of childhood memories of Grandma’s Thanksgiving table?

These are memories to be cherished and shared each holiday season, right? Yes and no. The problem arises when you leave home and your perfect recollection collides with the new spouse and in-laws’ equally treasured menu. "But we always serve brussel sprouts and creamed corn" may be countered with "How am I supposed to enjoy a meal with no candied sweet potatoes?" You have two choices to avoid insulting another’s holiday bliss: 1) Make duplicates of everyone’s favorites and eat leftovers for the next year, or 2) Try something new (alongside a few mutually approved dishes).

I have the perfect proposal for dessert this year: Gingersnap Pumpkin Cream Tart. It’s as if pumpkin pie married a creamy, crisp-crusted cheesecake. It honors the traditional holiday flavors, while respecting everybody’s need for a fresh tart.

To begin, preheat the oven to 350°F while setting the cream cheese on the counter to soften. Next place the gingersnap cookies in a plastic resealable freezer bag.

Begin rolling them into coarse crumbs.

Add the pecans and sugar and crush until they are uniformly ground to the size of coarse salt.

Then, add the melted butter. I like to save using extra dishes, so I just mix the crust ingredients right in the sealed bag before placing it into the tart pan.

Make sure to set 3 tablespoons of the mixture aside to top the tart later.

Mound the crumbs in the middle of the pan. Then, use the bottom of a measuring cup to press the gingersnap crust down and out toward the edges.

Bake for 9-11 minutes until lightly browned, then cool completely.

While the crust is baking, place the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar in a large bowl and blend until creamy. Add the vanilla, cooked pumpkin, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon and stir until combined.

At this point I like to pop the bowl (and beaters) in the refrigerator to chill until the crust is cooled—15 minutes or so.

Because this is a "no-bake" dessert it’s important to take the time to properly chill the mixture so the tart filling firms up. The last step is to add the whipping cream to the pumpkin-cheese mixture and beat until it thickens (about 5 minutes).

Place the creamy filling into the gingersnap crumb crust and chill at least 3 hours before serving. This dessert can be made a day ahead and still taste delicious.

When you are ready to serve, top the tart with the reserved crumbs.

Let me know if you enjoy this Gingersnap Pumpkin Cream Tart’s blend of "old" flavors with a "new" presentation.

Come back in a few days when Becky will share a great way to use those Thanksgiving turkey leftovers.

Emily is paid to write for the Land O’Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.


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• Comments •

Just stumbled on this recipe while looking up some nutritional info on your site. Can't wait to try it for New Year's Eve. Will do some sugar subbing for our diabetic guests but bet you won't even know. I can almost smell the flavors.

Posted Dec 28 2015 by Louise

In the pictures for how to make this and in the recipe itself, it looks like the tart has been removed from the pan for serving. How on earth do you remove it without wrecking it?

Posted Nov 10 2014 by Cecilia
Test Kitchen Comment


It really is very easy to remove the tart from the pan. This tart pan has a removable bottom piece so you only need to loosen the side piece and then just lift it away from the bottom piece.
Posted November 10, 2014

I love the idea of the 'gingersnap' crust...can't wait to try it.

Posted Nov 23 2011 by Rosemary
Test Kitchen Comment


Hope you do try this recipe! Let us know how it turned out! Happy baking!
Posted November 28, 2011


Posted Nov 22 2011 by katie

Yum!!! I will DEFINLTEY be serving this on Turkey Day!

Posted Nov 22 2011 by Lisa

Am going to put this recipe to the taste test for Thanksgiving desert, truly sounds delicious.

Posted Nov 21 2011 by Cathryn

Looks yummy Emily! Wish I was coming to your house for Thanksgiving.

Posted Nov 21 2011 by Jane

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    Hi, I'm Becky. I'm eager to share my best ideas and favorite recipes from my 20+ years in the Land O'Lakes Test Kitchen. I'm also excited to help with any questions you have about cooking and baking with Land O Lakes® products. Some of the questions and answers will be published in our newsletter, The Measuring Cup®. Please use the short form below to ask your questions, or share your tip or memory.

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