Baked pear and ginger cheesecake
( SERVES 10 )
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Lightly grease a 23cm springform cake pan. Completely enclose the outside of the pan with a large sheet of foil. Press it firmly onto the pan.
- Crush the gingernuts finely, preferably in a food processor. Combine with the butter and press evenly onto the base of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and cool.
- To make the filling, place the caster sugar and chopped ginger in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Add the pears and whizz until smooth.
- Place the cream cheese in a large bowl. Whip with an electric beater, until fluffy. Beat in the sour cream. Gradually add the pear mixture. Slowly beat in the eggs. Add the vanilla.
- Pour into the pan. Place in a large roasting dish. Pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until the centre is almost set. Remove from the oven, stand for 5 minutes then carefully lift the pan onto a wire rack. Remove the foil. Cool slightly then refrigerate the cheesecake covered loosely with foil. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours to set.
- The top can be garnished with whipped cream or 2 brandy snaps dusted with icing sugar.
Pears partner beautifuly with chocolate. For an impressive garnish, check out Ray McVinnie's video on 'How to make chocolate shards' .