Monday, November 28, 2011

Cinnamon-Pear Cheesecake

Along with my traditional Thanksgiving pies, I decided to make something that was a little different this year to go with them. This particular cheesecake appealed to me because there was a layer of pears on the bottom and a layer of sour cream on top. Yup, sour cream is what actually sold me. Don't judge. Actually, whenever I see/eat sour cream I think of my youngest brother, Randy. When it's available at our family meals, he eats so much it would possibly make you gag. It's as if he has the last container of sour cream on Earth, and if it all doesn't get eaten on top of those enchiladas he is having, the world will end. Silly things like that is why I love my family, which brings me back to Thanksgiving, because I'm thankful for my family.

The original recipe for this cake uses gingersnaps and ginger, but my boyfriend doesn't enjoy the ginger spice, so I swapped it for cinnamon graham crackers and cinnamon instead. Aren't I thoughtful?!  For the most part, this cheesecake is so easy to make. It sits either in the oven or in the fridge for the majority of the time. You do need to think ahead because it's sort of a waiting game. It needs to bake, then cool, and then be refrigerated for at least 4 hours. It really is worth the effort and my only complaint was that the crust was a little difficult to get out of the pan intact, but it might have also been user error, I do tend to mess up from time to time. Shocking, I know. As I said earlier, I used a different type of cookie/cracker for my crust. You could use the original gingersnaps, or try crushed vanilla wafers, honey graham crackers, whatever. This recipe is flexible, and for that reason alone it's a keeper. I hope you get a chance to make this! It's pear season, and you can use any kind. Enjoy!

Cinnamon-Pear Cheesecake


6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups crushed cinnamon graham crackers
3 ripe pears, any kind!, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, large
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature


  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the butter and crushed cinnamon graham crackers . Press the mixture into a 9-inch springform pan, working the crumbs over the bottom and then up the sides. Bake for 20 minutes, not any longer. 
  3. In a small bowl, toss the pears and cinnamon. Line the cooled crust with the pears, overlapping the slices slightly. 
  4. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the sugar and beat for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix until combined. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the vanilla. Pour the mixture over the pears. 
  5. Bake until the top is barely set but still a little wibbly wobbly, about 50 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack but leave oven on.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and the remaining sugar and vanilla. Pour over the cheesecake and bake for 8 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

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