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KUMQUAT CHEESECAKE PIE WITH MASCARPONE-CREAM TOPPING Recipe

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The inspiration for my pie came from an Italian cheesecake tort recipe that I scaled down and converted into a pie. I used a simple graham cracker crumb crust and to the filling, I included jarred kumquats that I processed in a food processor. I also incorporated some mascarpone cheese into the filling-the original had all ricotta. The topping is mascarpone beaten with brown sugar and almond extract then beaten again with heavy cream. Since kumquats are seasonal, the jarred kumquats work so well and the syrup provides a great ready-made drizzle. The flavor of this pie will be the subject of conversation after the first bite and the longer the pie sets, the better its flavor.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 60 min. Cook: 95 min.
MAKES:8 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 60 min. Cook: 95 min.
MAKES: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • Crust:
  • 1-1/3 cups finely crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
  • ½ scant teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • Filling:
  • 1 (9.5 oz.) jar Kumquats in syrup (Roland brand)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 lb. whole milk ricotta cheese-drained*(see note)
  • 8 ounces mascarpone
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted powdered sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Topping:
  • ½ cup mascarpone
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Reserved syrup from kumquats
  • Extra jar of kumquats for garnish-optional
  • Note: Stack three paper coffee filters into a strainer then spoon ricotta into top filter and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside 30 minutes to allow moisture in ricotta to absorb into filters.

Directions

  1. Position an oven rack in the lower third of oven. Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl mix cracker crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter; toss with a fork until crumbs are coated. Pour crumbs into a deep dish 9-inch pie plate. Press up side (1/4-inch short of top edge) and over bottom of pie plate. Refrigerate crust until needed.
  3. Drain kumquats in a mesh strainer placed over a bowl; reserve syrup in bowl. Cut kumquats in half and place in a food processor fitted with a blade. Process until kumquats and seeds are coarse to fine chopped. Add eggs, two at at a time; process total of 2 minutes. Add ricotta, mascarpone, powdered sugar, flour, salt and extract; process to smooth, scraping down side of processor a few times. With motor running, slowly add cream through feeding tube; process until blended. Retrieve crust; pour mixture into crust and place pie plate on rack in lower third of oven. Bake pie 60 to 65 minutes or until golden brown. Turn off oven heat and cool pie 30 minutes in oven with oven door slightly ajar then transfer pie to a wire rack. Cool completely. Refrigerate 3 hours or longer for the flavors to blend. Serve with a dollop of topping. Garnish topping with thin slices of extra kumquats and drizzle with reserved syrup or just drizzle topping with a teaspoon of reserved syrup.
  4. For topping, beat mascarpone, brown sugar and extract together in a deep bowl using an electric mixer. Add cream and beat until mixture is thick and stiff peaks form-do not over beat. Yield: serves 8
Notes: Cook time above is time in oven. Cooling time and refrigerating time is an additional 4-1/2 hours. You can use cream cheese instead of mascarpone and a substitute for extract can be orange liqueur-a tablespoon in the filling and 1 teaspoon in the topping. The extra kumquats are optional, but the presentation with the slices extra kumquats is so attractive!

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