Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Foodie Files

Let me just tell you up front, this week's Foodie Files is a gem.  I've got a mascarpone cheesecake with a gingersnap crust and plum topping on deck today and it's every bit as good as it sounds.  I made a lot of edits to the original recipe but I can tell it's author put a lot of hard work into test kitchening it.  Her baking times are a teensy bit involved, but the final result is outrageous so the precision is worth it.  If you draw the dessert straw this Thanksgiving, I'd definitely nominate this little treat.  Hope you enjoy it!


For the Crust:
1 1/4 cups gingersnap crumbs
1/4 cup brown sugar
5 TBS unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:
2 8oz containers mascarpone
12oz whipped cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice

For the Topping:
6 large black plums (pitted and sliced)
3/4 cup pomegranate and blueberry juice
1/2 cup blackberry jelly
1/4 cup brown sugar

So lets start with the crust...the easiest way to get gingersnap crumbs is like so:

Once you've done a good deal of smashing, mix your crumbs and brown sugar.  Stir melted butter in with a fork and blend thoroughly.  Press into the bottom of a 9" springform pan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Let crust cool while you work on the delicious filling.

Beat mascarpone and cream cheese until smooth.  The texture won't be quite right until you add more ingredients, so don't fret if it seems a little too solid.

Add sugar and mix, then add eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition.  Add vanilla and lemon juice, mix, then pour into cooled crust.  Here's where things start getting a little...specific.  You're gonna have to trust me- there's a method to the madness.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 325 and bake another 25 minutes.  Finally, turn off oven, and leave cheesecake in the oven for 30 more minutes.  Sounds a little crazy- I know- but it works.  Allow a few minutes too cool, then cover and refrigerate until ready for the plum topping.

Whisk together juice, jelly, and brown sugar and stir over medium heat until sugar and jelly melt.  Increase heat slightly and add sliced plums.

When mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for 3 minutes.  Remove plums with a slotted spoon.  Cover and chill plums and glaze until ready to assemble- my best advice in terms of speeding up the cooling process is to lay the plums out on a plate instead of just throwing them into a bowl.  Once plums are cooled, arrange them on top of the cheesecake in the loveliest of fashions.

Now eat, drink and be merry cause I'll tell you what- this cheesecake is goooooooood.  One of my favorite recipes to date!


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