There are a few reasons for making this lovingly spiced pear cheesecake. First, Carmen’s birthday is on the way. We are going to celebrate it. Second, Valentine’s Day is around the corner. It’s a strong reason to have sweet. Third, I saw the photo when searching for ginger pear cake and I love pears. I did not follow the recipe 100%. For example, I baked the cake in bain marie but with minimal water. The tradeoff is losing its crunchy base. I may try again without the bain marie although I am very happy with the velvet texture of the cheese cake. And I reduced the sugar content of the cheese mixture by 20% since the pear poaching syrup was added.
450g cream cheese
120g caster sugar, reduced from 150g
4 eggs, beaten
For the poached pears:
Place the sugar and spices in a saucepan with 200ml of water and set over a medium heat.
Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, then add the pears and covered.
Simmer for 10 minutes or until the pears have softened, then remove from the syrup and place on a plate to cool. Reserve the syrup.
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter the sides and bases of a 16cm and a 18cm diameter spring-form cake tin. Or just one 23cm cake base.
For the biscuit base:
Place the biscuits and spices in a food processor until the mixture is fine or bigger chunks. Add the melted butter and mix well. Tip the mixture into the prepared cake tin, spreading it out evenly to cover the bottom of the tin and pressing it down firmly.
For the cheesecake filling:
Pour the pear-poaching syrup into a bowl, using a sieve to catch the whole spices – which you can keep for decorating the cheesecake later.
Add the cream cheese, sugar and beaten eggs (one at each time) and whisk together until well mixed and smooth.
Arrange the pears in a single layer on the biscuit base, then pour over the cream-cheese mixture.
Bake for about 40–50 minutes or just until golden on top. I baked with a shallow water bath to keep the cheese texture velvet. The offset is losing the crunchiness of the base. It’s your call to decide which your preferred texture is.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin, then place in the fridge and leave to set for 2 hours.