Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wildflower Honey Cheesecake with Apple Compote


The Jewish new year is a perfect time to celebrate, do a bit of soul-searching, reflect on strategies to attain balance, establish new year resolutions (kinda like a phase one of 2014 NYE), and of course  innovate with new apple and honey dessert creations. Upon last week's visit to Intermiel honey farm, I thought very long and hard on how I will incorporate honey in my favorite desserts. At first the idea of creating a honey lemon meringue pie crossed my mind, but then I thought: "nah! Lemon Meringue Pie is sublime just the way it is." And then I thought of a honey Molten Lava cake (umm chocolate)... "nah! this cake is amazing just the way it is."  ;) And then it dawned on me, a Wildflower Cheesecake, especially when wild and radical provincial charters - I wish to make kaput into compote - are being proposed, and I screeched "Heureka!"



I don't know anyone in Montreal who would refuse a slice of this cheesecake; and my co-worker, who happens to be a bride-to-be, is starting to be ency and blame me for potentially not fitting into her wedding dress due to taste testing my desserts - please forgive me Nancy. In any case, there are two ways any mama can make this wild cake (1) Dairy: with classic Philadelphia cream cheese or (2) Pareve: with Tofutti non-dairy cream cheese - both very delicious. Plus, the wildflower taste topped with an apple and cinnamon compote, and combined with a sweet pecan graham crust accentuates symbolic Rosh Hashanah flavors. This cheesecake is truly a divine dessert intervention, representing sweet things to come for the new year. 



"Wishing all of our friends and family an amazing, positive, fruitful year filled with health, prosperity, strength, freedom and joy. 

With all our love, 

Leslie & my minime clan"







INGREDIENTS makes 10 to 12 slices

You will need a 9 inch springform pan.

CHEESECAKE:
  • 24 oz of Philadelphia cream cheese or Tofutti pareve cream cheese (3 pkg, each 8 oz/ 250 g)
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream or Tofutti pareve sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of Wildflower honey or regular honey
  • 1 tbsp of granulated sugar, optional (depending on how sweet you want the cake)
  • 3 eggs
  • PAM oil spray

CRUST:
  • 3/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs 
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped toasted pecans
  • 1/4 cup of unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon

APPLE & CINNAMON COMPOTE:
  • 2 cups of diced Cortland or other type of apples (4 big apples)
  • Cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 3 tbsp of water
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon 

DIRECTIONS
  1. Grease the bottom of 9-inch springform with PAM and set aside.
  2. CRUST: In a bowl stir together graham cracker crumbs, pecans, melted butter and brown sugar until moistened. Equaly press the mixture in the bottom of the pan and bake in the oven for 350 degrees F, until hard 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let cool.
  3. CHEESECAKE: In bowl, beat cheese with honey, then beat in sugar, eggs, sour cream. Pour into crust.
  4. Set springform pan in the oven and place a bowl filled with water in the oven, right beside the cake. Bake the cake at 350 degrees F, bake for 65 to 70 minutes until the edge is set but the center still jiggles and there is no more shine on top.
  5. Remove from the oven and cool. Cover and refrigerate until the cake is set, about 5 hours.
  6. APPLE CINNAMON COMPOTE: In a small saucepan, whisk sugar with cornstarch, whisk in gradually water, orange juice, and the cinnamon stick. Add the diced apples, cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until thickened and apples are soft and breaking apart 8 to 10 minutes. Pour onto cooled cheesecake and voila you have a Rosh Hashanah apple and honey cheesecake!

Adapted from Blueberry cheesecake recipe from Canadian Living August 2008 edition