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Honey Pear Cheesecake

We grow pear trees, so I’m always dabbling in pear desserts. In this cheesecake, I add ¼ cup crystalized ginger for extra zing. —Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 1-1/2 hours + chilling
  • Makes
    12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies (about 30)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • FILLING:
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup honey, divided
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh gingerroot
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 3 peeled and chopped medium pears (about 1-1/2 cups), divided
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325°. Securely wrap a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square) around and under a greased 9-in. springform pan. In a bowl, combine crushed gingersnaps and sugar; stir in 4 tablespoons butter, adding more as necessary. Press onto bottom and 1-1/2 in. up sides of prepared pan.
  • Beat cream cheese until fluffy, gradually adding 2/3 cup honey, lemon juice and minced ginger. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until blended. Fold in 1 cup chopped pears and raisins. Pour into crust. Place springform pan in a larger baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan. Bake until center is just set and top appears dull, 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours. Remove from oven; remove springform from water bath.
  • Cool cheesecake on a wire rack 10 minutes. Loosen sides from pan with a knife; remove foil. Cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight, covering when completely cooled. Remove rim from pan.
  • In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add remaining honey and pears; cook and stir until pears are tender. Stir in pecans. Top cake with pear-pecan mixture.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • Pick a mild flavor honey so it doesn't cover up the delicate flavor of the pears. Look for orange blossom, clover or alfalfa honey.
  • Bartlett pears would be our first choice. Their flavor is stronger than most other pears and can stand up to the other strong flavors in this cake.
  • Need to soften cream cheese quickly? Submerge the unopened, foil-wrapped blocks in warm water for 5-10 minutes.
  • To toast nuts, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes, or cook in a skillet over low heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

  • Editor's Note
    To toast nuts, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes or cook in a skillet over low heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
    Nutrition Facts
    1 slice: 552 calories, 36g fat (17g saturated fat), 142mg cholesterol, 374mg sodium, 54g carbohydrate (40g sugars, 3g fiber), 8g protein.

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