This months #Baketogether, hosted by the talented and lovely Abby Dodge is cheesecake. A challenge for me… for two reason… I’ve never made a cheesecake and I’ve never been a huge fan of traditional cheesecake.
It’s exactly why #baketogether is so great… you get to put your own spin on the recipe. It took some experimenting until I got the recipe down, but I think you’re going to really enjoy my twist on this cheesecake.
I decided to make a no bake cheesecake – all the way down to the crust. Infused with light flavors of pears, crystalized ginger, pistachios and marscapone cheese… the stars in this fresh and delightful sweet.
This recipe is for a small cheesecake, serves 4
Here’s what you ‘ll need:
3 forelle pears
1/4 cup crystalized ginger
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup water
9 graham crackers
1/4 cup pistachios
3 teaspoons maple syrup
3 tablespoon salted butter, melted
1/2 cup ricotta, (I used sheep milk ricotta it’s thicker like a paste)
3/4 cup marscapone cheese
2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon orange extract
For the pears:
Slice off the bottom of each pear just enough so it will stand upright. Peel the entire pear leaving the stem and skin at the top. Place in baking dish, drizzle honey atop of pears, grate 1/2 of the crystallized ginger, (reserve two pieces for filling), drizzle two tablespoons of butter and add water. Simmer for 20 to 30 minute or until cooked through. Set aside and allow to cool until ready to use. Once your pears have cooled slice very thin reserving some slices for decorating the top of the cake.
For the crust:
In a food processor place gram crackers, pistachios and the remaining crystallized ginger,(reserve two pieces for filling) and pulse into fine crumbs. Place the crumbs in a mixing bowl adding 1 tablespoon of the melted butter and the maple syrup, mix until all ingredients are combined.
In a serving bowl, place the crust crumbs inside, pressing with plastic wrap all along the bottom and sides forming your crust. Place the serving bowl with crust in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour. You may prepare the crust a day ahead.
For the filling:
I used a sheep ricotta that did not require draining and was more of a paste consistency – similar to a impastata. If you can find a ricotta impastata that would be best. If not, drain your ricotta in a sieve or with a cheese cloth to remove excess moisture, allow to drain overnight
In a food processor, place marscapone cheese, ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, lemon zest, two pieces of ginger, orange extract and pulse until all the ingredients are combine. Transfer to a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer for two minutes. Place filling in a pipping bag and set aside until ready to use.
To assemble cake:
Remove crust from the refrigerator. Taking the filling and pipping into the bottom center, begin working your way up and around the sides and filling the center. Decorate the top with reserved pear slices.
You can serves this right away or refrigerate and serve the next day. My take on a cheesecake, I think I can get used to this and look forward to trying more recipes. Enjoy!