She may have gone to prison for insider trading, but Martha Stewart does make one mean cheesecake. Maple syrup lightly sweetens the cheese filling and is brushed on pear slices as they roast before being layered atop the cheesecake, made here with a classic graham cracker crust. Not too heavy, not too sweet. Perfect.
Maple Cheesecake with Roasted Pears
Martha uses a vanilla wafer crust, but I prefer the traditional graham cracker crust. She broils her pears, I simply roasted them. She sprays her roasting pan with cooking spray, I brush it with canola oil. I used an Epicurious recipe for the crust because it had less sugar – graham crackers are sweet enough – and a little more butter – because you can never have enough butter.
- 2 – 8 ounces packages Philly cream cheese, room temperature
- 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 1 Graham Cracker crust, made in a 9 inch springform pan (Recipe below)
- 2 medium Bartlett pears, sliced lengthwise 1/8 inch thick
In a large electric mixer bowl, beat cream cheese on high until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup maple syrup; beat until smooth.
In another smaller bowl, beat cream and sugar on high until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. With a rubber spatula, fold a third of the whipped cream into cream cheese mixture, then fold in remainder. Transfer to prepared crust and refrigerate until firm, 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly brush a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet with canola oil. Arrange pear slices in a single layer on sheet and brush with 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Roast until pears are soft and browned in places, about 20 minutes. Let cool.
To serve, arrange pear slices, overlapping slightly, on cheesecake.
Graham Cracker Crust
If you find yourself running short while pressing this onto the sides of the pan (or eating too much while making it), just make a little more. I find how much I use depends on how thick I layer the crumbs, and it’s hard to do it uniformly every time.
- About 12 graham crackers to make around 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°F. Make the graham cracker crumbs by processing crackers in food processor till fine. Blend 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs and sugar until combined. Gradually add butter and blwnd until moist clumps form. Press crumbs onto bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with removable bottom. Bake until set, about 12 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely before filling.