I just love cheesecakes. They are quite easy to make, they have a balanced taste with that unique cream-cheesey hint. The biggest thing I love about cheesecakes is that they are so easy to experiment with! Possibilities are endless when it comes to flavours, and each time you come up with a whole new cake that doesn’t taste like the last one 🙂
This cheesecake is also different from the others. Even though it’s got a classic mix of pear + walnuts + blue cheese (topped with some caramel; remember – caramel makes everything better!?), it’s quite unusual for a dessert. Whoever tried it, loved the base which is also not a usual cookie crust here. The amount of blue cheese is easy to adjust to taste or even omit it (I know there are people who don’t like it at all) and still end up with a delicious treat. For those who in doubt, I still recommend to have it with the blue cheese, it adds that special zing and blends beautifully with other ingredients 🙂
My observation: ricotta-based cheesecakes turn out great, without any cracks baked just as they are. No water bath needed. It saves you a lot of time and you still end having a beautiful and tender cheesecake.
The recipe makes a 8″/ 20 cm cheesecake (serves 12).
Pear and caramel cheesecake with blue cheese
- 1 c/ 3 oz/ 95 g rolled oats
- ¼ c/ 1 oz/ 30 g shelled walnuts, processed to fine crumbs
- 1 T + 2 t/ 1.3 oz/ 40 g light brown sugar
- ½ stick/ 2 oz/ 60 g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 355ºF/ 180ºC. Line the bottom of a 8″/ 20 cm spring form with parchment paper.
Combine all the ingredients. Transfer the mixture to the spring form and press well to evenly fill the bottom. Bake in the hot oven for 15 min. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Reduce the oven temperature to 320ºF/ 160ºC.
- 8 oz/ 250 g ricotta
- 12 oz/ 350 g cream cheese
- 2/3 c/ 4.8 oz/ 145 g light brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 T maple syrup
- ¼ t salt
- 2 t vanilla bean paste or extract
- ¾ c + 2 T/ 3.3 oz/ 100 ml heavy cream
- 10 oz/ 300 g pears, skins peeled and cores removed, fruit cubed
- 3.3 oz/ 100 g blue cheese, crumbled
In a bowl of a stand mixer, mix the ricotta, cream cheese and brown sugar on low. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the maple syrup, salt, vanilla paste and cream. Mix until fully incorporated.
Stir in the pear chunks and crumbled blue cheese.
Transfer the mixture to the pan with cooled crust. Bake in the hot oven for 40 min. or until done: when the pan is gently shaken, the centre of the cheesecake should slighly wobble, and the sides should be set. If at some point the top of the cheesecake starts to brown, cover the pan with aluminum foil and resume baking as directed.
When done, turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake to cool inside, leaving the oven door slightly ajar.
Transfer the cooled cheesecake to the fridge and chill for at least 4 hrs, or overnight.
- ½ c/ 4 oz/ 120 ml heavy cream
- ½ vanilla pod, split lengthwise, seeds scraped, pod reserved
- ¼ t salt
- ½ с/ 3,3 oz/ 100 g white sugar
- ½ t light corn syrup or glucose
- 1 ½ T water
- 1 oz/ 30 g unsalted butter, cubed
In a small saucepan, heat up the cream with vanilla seeds and pod. Do not boil!
Prepare a large bowl of ice. Put the sugar, salt, corn syrup and water into a medium skillet set over medium heat. Let the sugar melt and start to boil. Do not stir, but rather shake the skillet occasionally to help even heat distribution.
Bring the caramel to 300ºF/ 150ºC. When you see a white smoke, the caramel is ready. Reduce the heat to minimum, and carefully pour the hot cream in, stirring the mixture with a balloon whisk. At this point it’s important to take care, as the caramel will bubble rapidly and release a lot of steam, watch out and don’t burn your hand! Stir the caramel until smooth and let it gently heat up again to melt any clumps.
Remove from the heat, stir in the butter. Strain the caramel through a sieve into a clean bowl.
Place the bowl over the bowl with ice and, stirring occasionally, let it cool completely. It will thicken up.
- 2 pears, skins peeled and cores removed
- 1 T/ 20 g unsalted butter
- 3 T light brown sugar
- ½ t vanilla essence
Cut each pear in half lengthwise, then cut each half in 4 wedges.
In a skillet set over medium heat, melt the butter, add the pear wedges and cook them for 2 – 4 min. per side. Drizzle the pears evenly with brown sugar and continue cooking for a few more minutes per side. Pears should become tender but still hold their shape well. Add the vanilla essence, remove the skillet from the heat. Let the pears cool completely.
Drizzle the cheesecake with caramel and arrange the pear wedges over the top before serving.