Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sassy Sweets: Cinnamon-Pecan Cheesecake with Stewed Plums

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The cinnamon pecan cookies from Grey Ghost Bakery are these delightful crisp cookies that really burst with the flavors of cinnamon and pecan.  When I tasted them, I couldn't help but think how could of a crumb topping they would make.  And when we finally got them, that is exactly what I was going to do - make a delicious little crumb bar with these and some springtime fruits. And then, as usual, my life intervened.
That week, I was swamped with a busy transaction of which, I was the sole person responsible.  It involved about a hundred trips between my office in Midtown and our property in downtown Brooklyn at all times of the day and night.  On that Friday, I found myself at the property at 6 p.m., wishing I could whisk myself back to our apartment, rather than the hour-long subway ride I was facing.  When, what stumbled across my path was literally the best lifesaver I could ever hope for - Junior's Cheesecake. I ran inside and purchased a very small cheesecake to take home to John.

By the time I got home, we had eaten, and I had my weekly Jack Daniels, I was thoroughly exhausted.  John was playing on his computer, as usual, so I just quietly started chanting "cheesecake, cheesecake, cheesecake".  He is nice enough to play along when I've had a bit too much to drink and not enough food!  Anyway, their cheesecake whet my appetite for more and I couldn't help but turn these cookies into an awesome crust for a truly amazing cheesecake.

Cinnamon-Pecan Cheesecake with Stewed Plums (recipe adapted from Juniors)
Serves:  8
16 Grey Ghost Cinnamon Pecan Cookies
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted

32 ounces Neufchatel cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Stewed Plums:
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
4 plums, peeled and sliced

Crust:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  In a small food processor, grind cookies until they resemble graham cracker crumbs.  Add sugar and mix well.  Pour the butter over it and mix until the crumb mixture holds its shape.  Pour the crumbs into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, making sure there is an even layer on the bottom and it goes slightly up the sides. Bake about 10 minutes, until the crust is a light golden brown.  Remove from the oven but keep the oven on.

Cheesecake:  In a large bowl, combine 8 ounces of cream cheese, 1/3 cup of sugar, and the cornstarch.  Beat with an electric mixer on low, until creamy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in the remaining packages of cream cheese.  then, turn the mixer speed to high and beat in the remaining sugar and vanilla.  Blend in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Blend in the heavy cream.  At this point, mix the filling only until completely blended - don't overmix!  Spoon the filling over the crust.  Place the springform pan into the oven and bake the cheesecake for 60 - 80 minutes, until the center barely jiggles.  Turn off the oven and open the oven door.  Let the cake completely cool.  Then, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours, or overnight, prior to serving.

Stewed Plums:  Meanwhile, make the plums.  Combine sugar, water, and a cinnamon stick in a small saucepan.  Let the mixture come to a boil and the liquid is clear.  Then, add the sliced plums and cook about 10 minutes over medium heat, until the plums become soft.  Transfer to an airtight container and store until ready to use.

To serve, spoon the stewed plums over the cheesecake.  Cut into slices, serve immediately.
Until the next time my oven is on...


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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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