Just after lamenting how delinquent I’ve been in my pumpkin-recipe posting, I thought I’d play some catchup with a recipe for these here Pumpkin Cheesecake Wontons. Not counting yesterday’s too-easy syrup, this year’s tally is now up to a grand total of 2, which is still too few, but a step in the right direction.
If you follow this blog, you’ll know that I had a pretty serious love affair with panko batter (evidence here, here, and here). Panko was my favorite, but things have changed. These days, my frying vehicle of choice is the eggroll/wonton wrapper. Surprise, surprise, the Chinese girl prefers wonton wrappers. I try not to be such a cliche, I promise, but sometimes you are what you are so you might as well embrace it.
Anyway, the reason I seem to keep turning to wrappers (exhibit 1, 2, and 3) versus batter comes down to time, pure and simple. Covering things in a readymade wrapper is much easier than creating a batter dipping assembly line when patience isn’t your thing. Plus, I love that the wrappers are a lot sturdier and can withstand just about any filling I can dream up. That right there is what we call foreshadowing. But before I get ahead of myself, follow along for the latest and greatest in fried fall pumpkin desserts.
The cast of characters: round wonton wrappers, ¾ cup pumpkin puree, ¾ cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 6 ounces cream cheese, softened, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, oil for frying and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
Start with the filling which you’ll make in two separate parts.
For the pumpkin side of things, combine and mix together the pumpkin puree, ¼ cup sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice.
In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese, ¼ cup sugar, and lemon juice until smooth. Do this by hand or with the help of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. It’s up to you.
Fill a shallow dish with water to help wet and seal the wrappers.
When you’re ready to start making the wontons, drop about a rounded teaspoon’s worth of cream cheese and pumpkin filling into each wrapper. Wet half of the edge of the wonton wrapper, and seal shut. Do your best not to overfill the wontons to make sure they seal cleanly without any filling running over. Adjust the amount of filling if you run into that problem.
Next, heat about a half an inch of oil in a frying pan or cast-iron skillet. You’ll know the oil is hot enough when a dash of flour in the oil sizzles and spits back at you.
Then, a few at a time, gently transfer wontons to the oil and let fry until golden on each side, about 30 seconds per side. More or less depending on how hot the oil is.
Remove from the oil and let drain on a paper-towel lined plate. Fry up the rest.
Now make the cinnamon sugar using the last of the sugar, about ¼ cup, and a tablespoon of cinnamon. Mix them together.
Once the wontons are no longer too hot to the touch, drop them in the cinnamon sugar and give each side a nice coat.
Enjoy right away, because as with most things, these babes are best served warm.
But, if you are going to save them for later, here’s a tip: cool the wontons on a cooling rack, not on a plate. The plate will get steamy and wet, increasing the odds of soggy wontons. Keeping them on a cooling rack lets air circulate, keeping things crispier longer. You’re welcome.
But really, you won’t be able to wait. Trust me.
The pumpkin and cream cheese (aka cheesecake) pair together so nicely and the fried wonton skins coated in cinnamon sugar are just the wonderful, crispy icing on top.
After sharing these with my immediate coworkers, I put the few I had left in the pantry for wider access. Once my work husband found out, he yelled, “Yang! You can’t do that to me! You can’t share these with everyone else!” And ran to the kitchen to grab himself one more. He’s usually much better about sharing, so this should give you an idea of just how delicious these are.
They’re that good, people.
Here’s one more picture for posterity’s sake.
I hope you enjoy and have yourself a lovely weekend. Brian and I had to postpone our Cleveland trip by a week. It’s snowing and driving through the mountains in the dark isn’t our idea of a good time. Instead, we’ll be keeping things low key and I’m very much looking forward to it. Have a great one!
- round wonton wrappers
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- oil for frying
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- Makes about 20 cheesecake wontons, give or take a few