When I was little, we went to my grandmother’s for Thanksgiving. The whole family was gathered, and through the lens of a child’s mind, there was more good food than what would feed the whole town. I remember the turkey more than anything else, and being happy and tired after dinner. I don’t remember specifics, but I know it was happy and homey. After my grandmother passed, we had to change our traditions. We went out for a few years (or was that Christmas? I’m not sure). But eventually, my mom agreed to host. For the last several years, my grandparents have gathered at my parents’ house to have Thanksgiving dinner. We have different things, but never a turkey. Maybe an itty bitty turkey breast, but not a turkey with crisp skin and tender meat and the process of basting and baking while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade…. I miss having turkey. I miss is because of the memories of my grandmother’s, the Americana it holds, and the comfort it brings. This year, I won’t be home. I will make a turkey.
But with all that turkey, I need to have some stunning sides and desserts. Another nostalgia moment for me in cream horns. I remember when mom first found them at the grocery, and I LOVED them. Keep in mind that frosting is my favorite food group. So a flaky pastry stuffed full of bakery frosting? Yes please.
These are slightly lighter, more grown-up, and autumn-appropriate. Filled with a light and just slightly sweet pumpkin cheesecake, these cornucopias of puff pastry will complement a heavy Thanksgiving dinner nicely.
Make the puff pastry cornucopias. Homemade puff pastry is amazing and delicately delicious, but it does take a lot of time. I used the frozen kind because it is much easier, especially when you have a lot of cooking to do. Thaw the pastry according to package directions. Preheat your oven according to package directions. Place it like a portrait landscape paper, and cut the pastry into strips that are 1-inch wide. Starting at the bottom of the horn, twirl the pastry around until your run out. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once they are all ready, brush the tops with an eggs wash. Sprinkle with coarse Turbinado sugar if desired. Bake according to package directions (or until they are golden brown on top).
While the pastries cool, make the cheesecake filling. Measure out all of your ingredients.
Add the heavy whipping cream to your mixing bowl along with 1/2 of the powdered sugar. Starting on a low speed, gradually increase the mixing speed to high so that you do not splatter cream all over the place. Beat on high for 3 – 5 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Scoop the cream into a separate bowl (if you don’t have more than one) and wash your bowl for the next step.
Beat the cream cheese on high until it is light and fluffy. Add the rest of the powdered sugar, the spice, and the pumpkin and bean until incorporated. With a spatula, fold in the whipped cream.
Add your cheesecake mixture to a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe the mixture into the cream horns. If you want, melt some white chocolate and drizzle it on the top of the pastry for decoration. Enjoy!