Pumpkin Cheesecake with Brown Butter Pear

Ingredients

8 ounces gingersnap cookies, crushed
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Pear

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large, ripe Bartlett pears—peeled, cored and cut into thin wedges
1 teaspoon sugar

Method

  1. Make th cheesecake. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the gingersnaps with 2 tablespoons of the sugar and a pinch of salt until fine crumbs form. Add the softened butter and process until moistened.
  3. Using your fingers, press the crumbs into the bottom of a buttered 9-inch springform pan in an even layer and brush any crumbs off the side of the pan.
  4. Bake the crust for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Let the crust cool slightly, then wrap the bottom of the pan tightly in aluminum foil so it’s watertight. Set the pan in a large, deep skillet or a small roasting pan.
  5. Rinse out the food processor bowl and wipe it dry.
  6. Add the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, vanilla and the remaining 2/3 cup of sugar and process for about 30 seconds, or until smooth. Add the eggs and pulse to blend. Add the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and process for about 30 seconds, or until smooth.
  7. Carefully pour the filling over the crust.
  8. Set the skillet in the oven and carefully pour in enough hot water to reach halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake the cheesecake for about 55 minutes, until barely jiggly in the center. Carefully transfer the skillet to a rack and let the cheesecake cool.
  9. Remove the foil and refrigerate the cheesecake until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.
  10. Prepare the pears. In a large skillet, cook the butter over moderately high heat until lightly browned and nutty-smelling, about 3 minutes.
  11. Add the pears and cook, turning once, until softened and lightly browned, about 4 minutes.
  12. Add the sugar and cook, turning once, until the pears are glazed, about 1 minute.
  13. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the cheesecake and remove the springform ring. Cut the pumpkin cheesecake into wedges and serve with the warm pears.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Source: Chef Jane Tseng


Today’s Comic

Creamy Rice with Meringue Crown

Ingredients

1/2 cup long grain rice
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
juice of 1 small lemon
juice of 1 small orange
2 tbsp rum

Apricot Glaze

1 cup apricot jam
1-1/4 cup water
3/4 cup extra fine sugar

Meringue

2-1/2 large egg white
1/2 cup extra fine sugar

Method

  1. Make the apricot glaze. Combine all ingredients in a small, heavy saucepan. Heat until the jam is dissolved, stirring constantly. Bring to a slow, rolling boil and cook until thickened, until reduced to 1-1/3 cups of glaze. Strain through a sieve. Set aside.
  2. Make the meringue. Beat the egg white in a large mixing bowl with electric mixer at high speed for 5 minutes or until stiff, but not dry. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar over egg whites and beat for 3 minutes longer. Sprinkle the remaining sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, over egg white mixture. Fold in gently but thoroughly. Set aside.
  3. Pour 2 cups water into the top of a double boiler and bring to a boil. Place over hot water, then stir in the rice. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the water is absorbed.
  4. Stir in the milk and cover. Cook until all of the milk is absorbed, stirring occasionally. The rice should be very tender. Remove from the hot water and cool.
  5. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
  6. Add the lemon and orange juices and mix well. Simmer until thickened, then remove from heat and stir in the rum. Add to the rice and mix well. Cool.
  7. Grease a 7-inch soufflé dish with additional butter.
  8. Cut a 5-inch strip of aluminum foil 2 inches longer than the circumference of the soufflé dish, then fold in half to make a 2-1/2-inch strip. Place around the outside of the soufflé dish, lapping over 1 inch, then tie with string.
  9. Place 1/3 of the rice mixture in the soufflé dish and press down evenly.
  10. Spoon 1/3 of the glaze over the rice mixture. Repeat the layers twice, then refrigerate until cold.
  11. Place the meringue mixture in a pastry bag with a No. 4 star tube affixed and pipe onto top of the rice mixture.
  12. Broil under low heat until lightly browned, watching closely so that meringue browns evenly. Remove the aluminum foil collar and place the soufflé dish on a serving platter. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: The Creative Cooking Course


Today’s Comic

Chocolate Hazelnut Galettes

Ingredients

6 oz plain chocolate, broken into squares
3 tbsp single cream
2 tbsp flaked hazelnuts
4oz white chocolate, broken into squares
3/4 cup fromage frais (8% fat)
1 tbsp dry sherry
4 tbsp finely chopped hazelnuts, toasted
physalis (Cape gooseberries), dipped in white chocolate, to decorate

Method

  1. Melt the plain chocolate in a heatproof bowl over hot water, then remove from the heat and stir in the cream.
  2. Draw 12 x 3-inch circles on sheets of non-stick baking paper. Turn the paper over and spread the plain chocolate over each marked circle, covering in a thin, even layer. Scatter flaked hazelnuts over four of the circles, then leave to set.
  3. Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over hot water, then stir in the fromage frais and dry sherry. Fold in the chopped, toasted hazelnuts. Leave to cool until the mixture holds its shape.
  4. Remove the chocolate rounds carefully from the paper and sandwich them together in stacks of three, spooning the hazelnut cream between each layer and using the hazelnut-covered rounds on top. Chill before serving.
  5. To serve, place the galettes on individual plates and decorate with chocolate-dipped physalis.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Ultimate Desserts Cookbook


Today’s Comic

Iced Berries with White Chocolate Sauce

Ingredients

4 cups mixed frozen berries (about 1 pound)
1/3 cup heavy cream
5 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons white rum (optional)

Method

  1. Put the frozen berries into the refrigerator 1 hour before serving so that they soften but are still icy.
  2. To make the sauce, put the cream, chocolate, and vanilla into a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring continuously, until the chocolate has melted. Let cool for 2 minutes, then stir in the rum, if using.
  3. Divide the berries among six shallow bowls and pour the hot sauce over them. Serve immediately before the fruits completely defrost.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Chocolat


Today’s Comic

Apple Charlotte

Ingredients

2 lb firm apples
3 cup butter or margarine
2 tablespoons potato starch
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 oz vanilla sugar
1-1/2 cups apricot jam
1-1/2 lb white sandwich bread or ladyfingers
confectioners sugar and 1-2 glasses rum to serve

Method

  1. Peel, core and quarter the apples. Put them in a pan with 2 tablespoons of the butter and cook until pureed, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
  2. Add the starch, blended with a little water, the sugar, cinnamon and vanilla sugar and continue cooking the mixture over high heat until it is a thick puree.
  3. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the apricot jam and let the mixture cool completely.
  4. Trim the crust off the bread slices, cut 6 slices into triangles and halve the other slices.
  5. Melt the remaining butter or margarine in a pan and dip the slices quickly into it.
  6. Line a high-sided buttered mold or charlotte mold with some of the bread slices, using the triangles for the bottom and overlapping the rectangles around the sides.
  7. Brush the bread slices with the remaining apricot jam, pour in the apple puree and cover with a layer of bread slices.
  8. Bake the charlotte in a hot oven (400°F) for about 1 hour.
  9. Unmold on a warm serving platter and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.
  10. Heat the rum, pour it on the charlotte and flame.

Makes 1 charlotte.

Source: The Cook’s Book


Today’s Comic