Serves 10


Crust:


- ½ cup butter


- ½ cup powdered sugar


- 1 ½ cups flour


- ½ cup fine gingersnap crumbs


-2 tablespoons water


- ½ teaspoon vanilla


- Nonstick cooking spray


Filling:


- 4 ounces light cream cheese, room temperature


- 1 ¼ cups canned pumpkin


- 2 eggs


- ½ cup sugar


- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


- 1 teaspoon ground ginger


- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg


Topping:


- 1 ¼ cups whipping cream


-2 tablespoons powdered sugar


- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


- Optional: 2 tablespoons minced sugared or candied ginger (See Kitchen Note)


1. To prepare the crust: Combine butter and powdered sugar in a food processor until creamy. Add the flour, gingersnap crumbs, water and vanilla. Process until the dough starts to hold together. (It does not need to form a ball.)


2. Spray a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan with cooking spray. Press the dough into the pan and freeze for 30 minutes, or refrigerate overnight. Pierce the bottom with a fork in several places. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 25 minutes. Cool on a rack.


3. To prepare the filling: Combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a food processor and process until smooth. Pour into the crust and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Remove the sides of the pan and place on a plate. Cover loosely and refrigerate.


4. To prepare the topping: Whip the cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Spoon into a pastry bag and pipe rosettes over the entire surface of the tart. (Or simply swirl the cream on top with a knife.) Sprinkle with the sugared ginger, if desired, and serve.


Times Kitchen Note: Sugared ginger can usually be found in the Asian food section of major grocery stores.