Glazed plum cheesecake

A friend’s potluck party and a set of ripe plums on hand were the impetus for the discovery of this recipe. I’m always on the hunt for new and interesting cheesecake recipes to try. Not that a classic NY cheesecake isn’t delicious, but adding a bit of flare never hurt. This recipe looked fun largely because of the interesting glaze that the plums get plunged into, which includes a unique combination of jelly, orange juice and ginger.

Recipe

from Bon Appetit Desserts

Crust
11 whole graham crackers, coarsely broken
¼ cup (packed) brown sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Filling
3 8-oz packages cream cheese
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tbsp finely grated lemon peel
2 tsp vanilla extract

Plums
¼ cup orange juice
½ cup red currant jelly
¼ cup (packed) brown sugar
3 ¼” thick slices peeled fresh ginger
6 large ripe red-skinned plums, halved, pitted, cut into ½” thick wedges

Crust: Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly butter 9″ diameter springform pan with 2¾” high sides. Combine graham crackers, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in processor. Process until fine crumbs form. Mix in melted butter. Transfer crumb mixture to prepared pan; press over bottom (not sides) of pan. Bake crust until set and golden, about 10 minutes. Cool on rack while preparing filling. Reduce oven temperature to 300 F.

Filling: Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until smooth. Beat in sugar. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then mix in sour cream, lemon peel and vanilla. Pour filling over crust.

Bake cake until sides puff slightly and center is just set, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn oven off. Leave cake in oven with door slightly open 30 minutes. Transfer cake to rack. Cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Cool cake completely in pan on rack, about 3 hours (cake may crack slightly as it cools). Cover and chill cake overnight.

Plums: Whisk orange juice, jelly, brown sugar, and ginger in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until jelly dissolves. Add plums. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer gently until plums are just tender but still hold shape, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer plums to large plate and cool. Boil cooking liquid in skillet until thickened to syrup consistency, stirring occasionally, about  minutes. Discard ginger.

Cut around pan sides again; remove pan sides. Arrange plum wedges in concentric circles atop cheesecake, covering completely. Brush some syrup over plums. Cut cake into wedges. Serve with remaining syrup.

Musings

A few notes on preparation: We couldn’t find red currant jelly, so we used grape jelly instead. I was short ¼ cup of sour cream.

Overall, the cheesecake seemed to be a success. I particularly enjoyed the plum topping–it balanced the heavier cheesecake by adding a nice freshness to the mix. D noted that the cheesecake wasn’t as creamy as versions past, which may have been because I baked it for too long (I baked it for the entire recommended time) or because I didn’t have quite enough sour cream. All in all, I think people enjoyed the dessert, and it would definitely be worth re-visiting in the future.

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