Individual Poached Pear Cheesecakes

Course : Cheesecakes
Serves: 9
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1 1/2 cups sugar plus more for the ramekins
2 tablespoons pear brandy
3 1/2 strips lemon zest -- 1/2 inch-wide
3 pieces cinnamon stick
1 pieces vanilla bean -- split
2 pieces star anise pods
2 whole cloves
2 medium ripe bartlett pears -- peeled, halved lengthwise and cored
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese -- softened
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese -- softened
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs -- lightly beaten

Preparation / Directions:

1. In a nonreactive saucepan, combine 3/4 cup of the sugar with the brandy, lemon zest, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, star anise, cloves, and 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then add the pears. Lower the heat, set a plate on the pears to submerge them and simmer until tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer the pears to a plate to cool. Boil the liquid until reduced to a syrup, about 4 minutes. Strain and let cool. 2. Butter nine 1/2 -cup ramekins and coat with sugar. Trim the pears so that they're 2 inches long, then slice them 1/4 inch thick. Fan the slices, overlapping slightly, in the prepared ramekins and add 1 teaspoon of the poaching syrup to each. 3. Preheat the oven to 325ΓΈ. Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle or an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in the remaining 3/4 cup sugar until smooth, then beat in the mascarpone. Add the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time. Spoon the batter into the ramekins and set them in a roasting pan. Add enough hot water to the pan to reach two-thirds of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until just set. Transfer to a rack to cool, then refrigerate overnight. 4. Run a knife around each cheesecake and invert onto a plate. Spoon a little of the reserved poaching liquid around each cheesecake and serv


Nutritional Information:

336 Calories (kcal); 31g Total Fat; (82% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 154mg Cholesterol; 247mg Sodium

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