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Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Marshmallow Meringue

potato

Vibrant orange sweet potatoes create a beautiful contrast to the dramatic marshmallow meringue topping in this unique cheesecake, which is perfect for a Thanksgiving feast. You can bake the cheesecake a day in advance, then refrigerate until ready to add the meringue. For a quicker finish, replace the meringue topping with sweetened whipped cream and skip the torch.

Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Marshmallow Meringue

For the crust:

1 1/8 cups (155 g) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (60 g) ground pecans

3 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar

8 Tbs. (1 stick/125g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

 

For the filling:

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp. allspice

1/4 tsp. salt

1 lb. (500 g) cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup (170 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

1 cup (250 g) roasted and pureed sweet potatoes

1 Tbs. vanilla extract

4 eggs

 

For the marshmallow topping:

3/4 cup (200 g) egg whites

1 cup (170 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup (85 g) sorghum syrup or light agave nectar

Seeds of 1 vanilla bean

 

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).

 

To make the crust, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the flour, pecans, brown sugar and butter on low speed until combined, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Press the crust into the bottom of a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan. Bake until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce the oven to 300°F (150°C).

 

To make the filling, in a small bowl, combine the cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the cream cheese and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sweet potato puree, vanilla and spice mixture and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

 

Wrap a double layer of aluminum foil around the bottom and sides of the springform pan. Add the filling and smooth the top. Place in the center of a roasting pan. Pour hot water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the cheesecake is firm but jiggles slightly in the center, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool in the water bath before topping with the meringue. The cheesecake can be refrigerated overnight.

 

To make the meringue, in a saucepan, bring 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water to a simmer. Place the egg whites, brown sugar, sorghum syrup and vanilla bean seeds in an electric mixer bowl and set over but not touching the simmering water. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is hot, about 2 minutes. Place the bowl on the mixer and beat with the whisk attachment on high speed until the meringue cools to room temperature and stiff peaks form, 5 to 6 minutes.

 

Lightly pat the cheesecake with a paper towel to remove moisture. Mound the meringue on top, using a pastry spatula to spread it to the edges. Using a spoon, create mountains of meringue around the surface. Lightly brown with a kitchen torch. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Serves 8 to 12.

 

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Ricotta Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce

cheesecake

Making our own fresh ricotta is surprisingly easy, and the result tastes extraordinary. Use a good-quality ricotta for this cheesecake, and make sure to process it well so there are no lumps. You’ll be rewarded with a deliciously light and creamy cake.

 

Ricotta Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce

For the crust:

3 Tbs. sugar, plus more for sprinkling

4 oz. (125 g.) graham crackers (about 8 crackers)

Pinch of kosher salt

4 Tbs. (2 oz./60 g.) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

4 cups (2 lb./1 kg.) ricotta cheese

1 cup (8 oz./250 g.) sugar

1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g.) all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

4 large eggs

1/3 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g.) creme fraiche

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tsp. finely grated orange zest

For the strawberry sauce:

1 pint (8 oz./250 g.) strawberries, hulled and sliced

1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) sugar

2 Tbs. fresh orange juice

2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C).

To make the crust, generously butter a 9-inch (23-cm.) springform pan; sprinkle the sides of the pan with sugar, knocking out the excess. In a food processor, combine the graham crackers, 3 tablespoons sugar, salt, and butter and pulse to form fine crumbs. Press the graham cracker mixture evenly onto the bottom of the pan. Bake until the crust is lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F (165°C).

To make the filling, in a clean food processor, process the ricotta until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar, flour, and salt and process again until smooth. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula as you go. Add the eggs and process until smooth. Add the creme fraiche, vanilla and orange zest and process until completely combined. Gently pour the filling into the crust-lined pan, being careful not to disturb the crust.

Bake until the filling puffs up slightly and the center jiggles very slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely, at least 2 hours. You can also refrigerate the cheesecake for up to 2 days before serving.

Meanwhile, make the strawberry sauce: In a saucepan, simmer the strawberries, sugar, and citrus juices over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries break down and the sauce becomes a bit syrupy, about 6 minutes. Puree the sauce with an immersion blender or in a blender. Let cool completely or refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve, remove the pan sides and slide the cheesecake onto a serving platter. Pour the sauce over the cake, and serve in thick wedges (you can also serve the strawberry sauce alongside the cake). Makes one 9-inch (23-cm.) cheesecake.

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Recipe Roundup: Sweet Potatoes

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Whether they’re roasted simply or baked into a classic casserole, sweet potatoes are a must on many Thanksgiving tables. Try these creative and inspired recipes, from salads and sides to a showstopping cheesecake dessert.

 

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Pecans and Green OnionsRoasted Sweet Potato Salad with Pecans and Green Onions
This colorful roasted root vegetable salad is delicious alongside roasted meats. The dense sweet potatoes stand up well to hearty kale and crunchy nuts.
Sweet Potato Puree with Marshmallow and PecansSweet Potato Puree with Marshmallow and Pecans
This play on the traditional holiday dishes with brown sugar, pie spices, butter, toasted pecans and a homemade marshmallow topping comes from Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman of Memphis’s Hog & Hominy. The dish stays on their menu all winter long.
Sweet Potato MashSweet Potato Mash
Melted butter seasoned with fresh sage, ground cinnamon, grated nutmeg and brown sugar give a flavor boost to these mashed sweet potatoes. Drizzle with the maple-pecan topping for a sweet crunch.
Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Marshmallow MeringueSweet Potato Cheesecake with Marshmallow Meringue
Vibrant orange yams create a stunning contrast to the dramatic, sweet marshmallow meringue topping in this showstopping dessert. You can bake the cheesecake a day in advance, then refrigerate until ready to add the meringue.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Chiles and Herbed Yogurt SauceRoasted Sweet Potatoes with Chiles and Herbed Yogurt Sauce
Looking for something lighter and healthier than your usual Thanksgiving sweet potatoes, which are typically sweetened with brown sugar and topped with marshmallows? Try this simple dish, which gets a kick of heat from Calabrian chiles.
Sweet Potato Soufflé with Spiced Pecan ToppingSweet Potato Soufflé with Spiced Pecan Topping

The warmly spiced crunch of the pecan streusel contrasts nicely with the smooth and naturally sweet soufflé. Bonus: it’s an easy dish to make ahead.

 

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Pecan-Bacon Streusel and MarshmallowsTwice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Pecan-Bacon Streusel and Marshmallows

For many, sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows are a nostalgic Thanksgiving favorite. In this recipe the traditional dish gets a new twist with and fun new topping in the form of mini-marshmallows that are lightly browned using a kitchen torch.

 

Sweet Potato and Cranberry HashSweet Potato and Cranberry Hash
Diced and combined with green onions, cranberries and a touch of spice, sweet potatoes make a savory-sweet hash that is delicious served with poultry, pork or game.
Sweet Potato and Leek CustardSweet Potato and Leek Custard
Singing Brook, a hard sheep’s milk cheese made at Tennessee’s Blackberry Farm, lends a wonderful contrast to the sweet potatoes and garlic in this dish. If you like, substitute pecorino romano instead.
Sweet Potato Gratin with PecansSweet Potato Gratin with Pecans
This gratin will be welcome on the Thanksgiving table, but you can also serve it as part of a breakfast buffet, alongside eggs and bacon.
Roasted Pumpkin with Garlic, Sweet Potatoes and Cherry TomatoesRoasted Pumpkin with Garlic, Sweet Potatoes and Cherry Tomatoes
This medley of roasted vegetables transitions between the seasons with summer’s last tomatoes and autumn’s first root vegetables and firm squashes. If you’ve never combined maple syrup and olive oil before, you’re in for a pleasant surprise
Sweet Potato Puree with Caramelized MarshmallowSweet Potato Puree with Caramelized Marshmallow
This recipe from James Tracey of Craft in New York City takes an old favorite in a sophisticated new direction with homemade marshmallow meringue. Whipped to stiff peaks, the sugary meringue turns golden brown as it bakes in the oven atop silky, nutmeg-scented sweet pot