Recipe: Ginger-Pear Cheesecake
It's really easy to make. It will be best if made the day before you want to serve it.
1 1/2 cups ginger snap cookie crumbs
5 Tbl melted butter
1 Tbl white sugar
1 cup diced, ripe, fresh, peeled pear (if you can't get a ripe pear you can use canned pears)
(3) 8 oz. packages of cream cheese (full cream or Neufchatel will work) at room temperature
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
3 tsp. ground ginger
2 cups sour cream
2 Tbl white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
You'll be using your 10" springform pan. Pour the ginger snap crumbs, the butter and the sugar directly in the pan. (You can make the cookie crumbs by crushing the regular cookies in a food processor or use a mallet). Stir the butter, crumbs and sugar thoroughly with a fork to mix. Then spread the mixture on the bottom and up to 1" up the sides of the pan. You can use your clean fingers or you can spread a piece of cling wrap over the crumbs and press on the cling wrap. Just keep maneuvering the crumbs until you have the entire bottom covered and pressed down. Bake this crust for 5 minutes at 350 degrees to firm it up.
When you take it out of the oven let it cool a bit and then spread the pear pieces across the crust in the bottom of the pan.
In a mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add each egg and keep the mixer running to keep making the mixture fluffier. Wipe down the sides if any of it is sticking to the sides of the bowl. After all four eggs are in add the sour cream and the ginger. Be sure to sprinkle the ginger across the batter so it doesn't go in as a glob. Then beat again until all is mixed in. Pour the batter over the pears. Bake at 350 for an hour.
The day you'll serve the cheesecake mix the sour cream, sugar and vanilla for the topping. Whip for a short time until smooth. Spread this mixture starting in the center and across the cheesecake. Leave a 1" rim around the cake for drama along the edges. The cheesecake will probably have sunken a bit so the rim seems very natural. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. Now chill until ready to serve.
Take the cheesecake out of the refrigerator 15 - 30 minutes before serving to achieve the best flavor. If it's too cold you won't taste it as well. Cheesecake leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator. Should be in great shape for at least 3 days...if it lasts that long!
This exotic flavor will excite the palette. It's very smooth, creamy and different.
Enjoy. Cheers! Zola
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