I was trying to come up with a good dessert for Thanksgiving that would not be heavy, would be gluten-free, and, would provide a sweetly complex  finish to the meal.  I had cream cheese, winter squash and homemade Fig Jam.  I decided on cheesecake that would have a slight citrus finish to it. 

I did not feel like making a nut crust, so, I decided on baking individual cheesecakes, in cupcake tins, that had been placed into pans filled with water.  The water would keep the cheesecakes from getting too brown on the bottom and it also caused the cheesecakes to have a much looser, custard type of texture, which turned out to be perfect when placed onto of the heated Fig Jam.


Two  8 ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature


                             2 large eggs (at room temperature), almond extract, vanilla extract, and Triple Sec or orange extract


Cook until soft, a 1/2 cup of winter squash. After beating the cream cheese until it is soft, add the cooled squash.IMG_2728 Beat the squash and cream cheese, together,  until the mixture is smooth.

Now, with the mixer on low speed, gradually add in :

 2/3 cup of sugar,

(Note: I use an unrefined, organic sugar. It seems to have a less sweet taste than regular refined white sugar.)

1tsp. pure almond extract

1tsp. pure vanilla extract

1tsp. Triple Sec or other orange flavoring

Mix all together until all of the sugar has been incorporated into the cream cheese.

Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl, being sure to scrape both the sides and bottom.

Add in the eggs, one at a time beating on high speed after each addition.IMG_2729

The batter should take on a very creamy appearance.

Scrap the bowl down again.

Finished batter

Finished batter

Beat the batter to incorporate all of the scrapings and until the batter is very creamy and light in appearance. The texture of a cheesecake really depends on the amount of air that has been beaten into the cheesecake batter, which is why the sugar and eggs are slowly beaten into the batter.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Grease two  cupcake pans with  butter or other oil. Pour the batter into the cupcake pans. Place the pans into a larger pan and fill with water up to the bottom edge of the cupcake pan.


Place the pans into the preheated oven. Cook for ten minutes, at 375 degrees. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and cook until the center of the cupcakes barely move when the pan is shaken. About 15 minutes.

Remove the pans from the oven and the water bath. Place them on a rack to cool.


Once the cupcakes are cool, place the pans into the refrigerator for at least 24 hours to allow the cupcakes to mellow in flavor.



Heat a small jar of Fig Jam, either in the microwave or in a small pan. Place the heated jam on a dessert plate. Spoon the “cupcake” out of the pan and place onto of the heated jam.

The contrast between the cool “cupcake” and the warm Figg Jam creates an incredible taste sensation that is heightened by the slight citrus of the Triple Sec. and nuttiness of the Almond extract.

 Yums were heard all around the table.  It is Marvelous!

Cooking with Joy,


Cooking with Joy

Cooking with Joy


    • Patricia, I would love to tell you about the Fig Jam but I can’t find the recipe. I know I started with a recipe that I found online for Drunken Fig Jam, but, I made some changes to it and I can’t find where I wrote down the changes. I do know that I put bourbon in it. ^_^


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