Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cheesecake With An International Flair

Eastern Europeans love pumpkin and here I have combined it with dry curd or farmers cheese in this adaptation.With a cheesecake recipe that uses cream cheese. If you're ambitious, you can make your own farmers cheese, but it can be found in many supermarkets and import delis. This cheesecake can be served as is or with a sprinkling of crushed toffee candies or with a buttery toffee sauce and a dollop of whipped cream for extra decadence. The crust can be varied by using crushed shortbread, gingersnaps or chocolate cookies, or even a nut crust.
Polish pumpkin-toffee--cheesecake

Polish Pumpkin Cheesecake & Toffee Sauce
1 ½ c. graham cracker crumbs
1/3 c. melted butter
¼ c. sugar
Cheese Filling:
1 ½ lb. dry curd or farmers cheese, puréed until smooth
1 c. sugar
¼ c. packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
2/3 c. evaporated milk
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 ¼ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
Sour Cream Topping:
1 (16-ounce) room-temperature sour cream
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Toffee Sauce:
1 c. heavy whipping cream
¼ c. packed light brown sugar
¼ c. honey
¼ c. butter
To make the crust: Combine graham cracker crumbs, 1/3 cup melted butter and ¼ cup sugar until well mixed. Press onto bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Refrigerate but do not bake.
To make the filling: Heat oven to 350. In a large bowl, beat puréed curd cheese with 1 cup sugar and ¼ cup brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, pumpkin and evaporated milk. Add cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg, and beat well. Pour into prepared crust. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until edges are set but center is still a little jiggly.
To make the topping: In a small bowl, combine sour cream with 1/3 cup sugar and vanilla, mixing well. Spread over surface of warm cheesecake. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Remove side of springform pan.
To make the toffee sauce: In a small saucepan, place whipping cream, ¼ cup brown sugar, honey and ¼ cup butter. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. When the sugar has dissolved, reduce the heat to low and simmer 15 minutes or until the mixture has reduced by half. Remove from heat. Sauce will thicken more after standing. Drizzle warm sauce over cheesecake portions or on the serving plates

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