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Friday, February 10, 2012

Pears and Cheese Redux


Baby Cheesecakes with Toffee Pears


Pears and Cheese Redux
by Victoria Challancin

Those of you that follow my blog may have picked up on a recurring theme threading my posts:  Pears and Cheese.  You might remember:

Yes,  indeed I love the combination of fruit and cheese, but specifically pears and pungent cheese.  And with this I give you today one of the yummiest and most satisfying desserts I have made in a long while:  Baby Blue Cheesecakes with Toffee Pears.  Sublime!  The oat-walnut crust came together quickly and offered just the right amount of contrasting crunch and texture to the softness of the cheesecake and the sautéed pears.  It is rich, definitely rich, but each bite is such a tasting treat:  sharp, sweet, crunchy, and meltingly delicious.



Baby Cheesecakes with Toffee Pears

Cook's Note:  Although this recipe is perfect just as it is, a splash of brandy or cognac, perhaps burned off by flaming, would surely not go amiss!


Recipe:  Baby Cheesecakes with Toffee Pears
(Recipe from bhg.com)

For the crust:
3/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted

For the filling:
1 80z/227g package cream cheese, softened
1 egg
2 oz crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup dairy sour cream

For the toffee pears:
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons whipping cream
4 pears, cored and sliced
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup lightly toasted broken walnuts

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Line eight 2 1/2-inch muffin cups with foil or paper bake cups; set aside.

To make crust:
In a bowl stir together oats, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 3 tablespoons butter until combined.  Spoon 2 rounded tablespoons oat mixture into each prepared muffin cup.  With bottom of a narrow glass press down lightly.  Bake 8 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool slightly on wire racks.  Reduce oven temperature to 325 degres F.

To make filling:
In a medium bowl beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until smooth.  Add egg and beat just until combined.  Stir in blue cheese and sour cream.  Spoon well-rounded tablespoons of the cheese mixture into each crust lined muffin cup.  Bake 20 minutes or until slightly puffed and set.  Cool 30 minutes.  Removed frombcups.  Place on tray, cover and refrigerate at least 2 or up to 24 hours.  Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

To prepare the toffee pears:
In a large skillet melt the 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat.  Add the 1/2 cup brown sugar and cream.  Cook and stir until bubbly.  Add pears.  Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until pears are tender.  Remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla.  Cool slightly.

To serve:  
Remove foil or paper liners from cheesecakes.  Spoon about 1 tablespoon brown sugar-cream mixture into each of 8 dessert dishes.  Top with a cheesecake.  Spoon pears around cheesecake.  Sprinkle each with toasted walnuts.

Enjoy!


©Victoria Challancin.  All Rights Reserved.

7 comments:

Lynne said...

Your pears and cheese look terrific! What a novel way of serving this dish! I'll have to make this for my family as I think they would really love the flavors.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

What a delectable combination with a clever presentation! Pears are my favourite winter fruit :D

Hotly Spiced said...

Wow, I love that last image of the wagon wheel and flowers. And I love cheese and pears too. Such a great combination. Your dish looks amazing. I must try it.

tania@mykitchenstories said...

Perfect I am with you all the way on Pears and pungent cheese. Cheese and any fruit and nuts.

Spicie Foodie said...

How funny I also have a pear recipe on my website today. I share your love for pears and cheese. It is one of the best combinations ever. Your recipe looks really good.

Mary said...

This sounds like a delicious. This is my first visit to your blog, so I spent some time browsing through your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

FOODalogue said...

Wow...that looks like a very special treat!