There are so many delightful flavors that perfectly complement each other in this rich, impressive cheesecake. The hint of cinnamon in the crust goes wonderfully well with the maple-brown sugar filling. The homemade maple-glazed chestnuts just takes it over the top.—
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1-1/2 cups pure maple syrup
- 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- CANDIED CHESTNUTS:
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 package (7 ounces) whole cooked and peeled chestnuts, quartered
- 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
- Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.
- In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, sugar and cinnamon; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom and 1-1/2 in. up the sides of prepared pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce heat to 325°.
- For filling, in a small saucepan, bring 1-1/2 cups maple syrup to a low boil; cook until reduced to about 1 cup. Cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the sour cream, flour, vanilla, salt and cooled syrup. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into crust. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.
- Bake at 325° for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath; remove foil. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack for 10 minutes; loosen edges from pan with a knife. Cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
- For candied chestnuts, in a small bowl, combine sugar and salt. Add chestnuts; toss to coat. Spread evenly onto a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 15-19 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once after 10 minutes. Immediately transfer to a waxed paper-lined baking sheet; cool completely.
- Remove rim from pan. Serve cheesecake with chestnuts and maple syrup. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Maple-Chestnut Cheesecake in Taste of Home Christmas Annual Annual 2012, p32
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