Recipe by Sarah Phillips; Food Styling and Photos by Kelly Hong © 12-6-2106 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
This recipe is a wonderful combination of flavors - of cranberries, a spicy cream cheese filling, with an almond-flavored crust.
It is a wonderful tart to serve for the holidays, and it is a great way to use up any extra pumpkin or hubbard squash and cranberries that you may have left over from your Thanksgiving baking.
The beautiful ruby-red cranberry gelée makes this tart very appropriate for the Christmas season.
CHEESECAKE RECIPE HELP
Blind baking refers to baking a pie or tart crust without its filling. The shell is usually pricked with a fork to prevent bubbling, lined with foil and weighed down with dried beans, raw rice or pie weights. The foil and beans are removed once the crust is set and firm to allow the bottom to brown and bake evenly. Blind baking gives the crust a head start when making pies or tarts with very moist or precooked filling.
For the Pastry:
6 tablespoons blanched almonds
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 large egg
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
For the Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of freshly ground white pepper
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups (10-ounces) canned pumpkin puree; use solid pack pumpkin puree or homemade pumpkin or hubbard squash puree
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
For the Cranberry Gelee:
2 cups (1/2 pound) fresh cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
For the Garnish, optional:
STEP I: MAKE THE PASTRY DOUGH
1. In a food processor, pulse the almonds until coarsely ground.
2. Add 1/2 cup of the flour and process to a fine powder; transfer to a bowl.
No need to wash the food processor bowl for the next step; just wipe it down.
3. In the food processor, pulse the butter and powdered sugar until creamy.
4. Pulse in the egg and vanilla.
5. Pulse in the remaining 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon of flour, the almond flour and the salt until a soft dough forms.
6. Pat the pastry into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
NOTE: The dough will be VERY soft, but will firm up when it is cold. DO NOT attempt to roll it out until it is THOROUGHLY chilled feels very firm, when touched.
STEP II: PRE-BAKE OR BLIND-BAKE THE PASTRY DOUGH
1.Position an oven shelf to the middle of the oven.
Heat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a 14-inch round about 1/8-inch thick.
3. Roll the pastry onto the rolling pin and unroll it over an 11-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.
4. Gently press the pastry into the rim.
Trim excess dough, leaving a 1-inch overhang.
Fold in the overhanging dough and press to reinforce the side; the side should be twice as thick as the bottom.
Trim off any excess pastry and refrigerate until firm.
5. Line the pastry with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
6. Bake the pastry for about 25 minutes, or until set.
Remove the parchment and weights and bake for 10 minutes longer, until the crust is golden and cooked through.
Let cool on a wire cake rack in its pan.
STEP III: MAKE THE PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE FILLING. FILL AND BAKE.
1. In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, brown sugar, ground spices, nutmeg and salt.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat at medium speed until smooth.
3. Beat in the pumpkin puree until smooth. Beat in the cream, maple syrup, vanilla and eggs at low speed until blended.
4. Put the crust on a large, sturdy baking sheet and pour the pumpkin filling into the crust.
Smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
5. Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the custard is just set but still slightly jiggly in the center.
Cover the edge with foil if the crust starts to brown too much.
6. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
STEP IV: MAKE THE CRANBERRY GELEE.
1. In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries with 1/2 cup of water and cook over moderate heat until they begin to pop, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
2. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Strain the puree through a fine sieve. Rinse out the saucepan.
3. Add the sugar and 1/4 cup of water to the saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring, until dissolved.
4. Let cool. Stir in the cranberry puree and orange juice.
5. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tablespoons of water and let stand until softened, 5 minutes.
Microwave for 10 seconds, or until completely melted.
6. Whisk the gelatin into the cranberry mixture.
STEP V: FINISHING TOUCHES. SERVE.
1. Carefully ladle the gelée over the pumpkin custard; YOU MAY NOT NEED ALL OF IT!
Only use as much as it takes to reach the top of the tart shell.
2. Shake the tart it gently to even it out.
NOTE: If any of the gelée tries to creep over the edge as it cools, just gently wipe the excess away with your finger, to neaten the edge.
3. Refrigerate the tart until set, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
Remove the tart ring. Optionally garnish with Whipped Cream, Sugared Cranberries, and rosemary springs.
Store the cheesecake in the refrigerator up to five days. If you wish to serve at room temperature, then slice while cold, then set the slices out to warm to room temperature before serving.