The Lovely Drawer | Spiced Pear Cheesecakes
So the holidays are over.
Unless you are planning (re: neglecting) your Christmas tree
until it's a dry skeleton of what it once was
and hanging Valentines Day cards from it
like we run a high risk of doing...
January is a bit of dry spell of celebrating.
here's a little party you can throw for yourself:
We went to dinner at Teri
& Nick's the other week
and she made these for us as "pudding" (re: dessert).
With it's pretty figs setting on top for decoration,
I jokingly referred to is as a Figgy Pudding...
and I, of course, also flipped out
because it was delicious.
* * *
Any cheesecakes is usually a winner but I have to say I spend a lot more time making baked cheesecakes than set ones. In my head I'd somehow resolved that they were far superior. But then again the appeal of a dessert that doesn't actually even need cooking is quite tempting, especially when it involves mascarpone!
I adapted this cheesecake recipe to form a spiced, winter version which would almost be warming...if it was so...chilled. I used a 3x1.75 inch mini cheesecake pan with removable bases. You could even smaller versions and make more or use 9 inch springform/ loose-bottomed tin for a standard cheesecake. My tin equated to 7 mini cheesecakes. Mini desserts are my fave!
1 C crumbled spiced biscuits, like Lotus (read: Speculoos) biscuits or similar.
1 oz walnuts
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
figs for decoration
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
14 oz full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
11 oz mascarpone, at room temperature
3/4 C icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 C water
1. Put the biscuits and walnuts in a bag and crush with a rolling pin until fine or blend in a food processor. Add 1 tsp of the cinnamon.
2. Melt the butter in a saucepan and then take off the heat stir in the biscuit and nut mix.
3. Press the mixture into each mini cheesecake tin. Compact well with your fingers or the bottom of a spoon and leave in the fridge while you prepare the rest.
4. Peel and cut the pears into small chunks. Heat the water in a saucepan and add the sugar and the other tsp of cinnamon. Stir in and allow to dissolve. Add the pears and cook covered for about 15 mins. Allow to cool.
5. Combine the cream cheese and mascarpone in a mixing bowl and use handheld electric mixer to blend the cheeses together until light and fluffy.
6. Add the icing sugar a little at a time to incorporate and then add the vanilla to the mixture.
7. Make sure the pear mixture is cool and then squeeze the excess liquid out, gently through a sieve. Stir into the cheese mixture.
8. Spread this over your biscuit bases. Fill each mini tin and smooth over the top with a knife or spatula.
9.Chill in the fridge for at least a few hours, ideally over night. The cheesecake firms up best when you remover them from their tins a few hours before serving and leave them in the fridge until you are ready to eat. Cut your figs into quarters and place on the top of each cheesecake.
1 1/4 C powdered sugar
5 ounces double cream (or heavy whipping cream)
3.5 tablespoons butter
1. Transfer the sugar into a heavy based frying pan, stir in 4tbsp water and then place over a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Turn up the heat and bubble for 4-5 mins until it forms caramel.
3. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the cream and butter. Leave the sauce to cool and then transfer into a squeezy bottle.
4. Drizzle over your cheesecakes.
* * *
So, there you have it.
2014 just got a lot more awesome.
Check out more of Teri's cool creations
on her prettier-than-mine blog,
*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy