Katherine Clapner on StarChefs.com

Katherine Clapner
Stephan Pyles
1807 Ross Ave, Suite 200
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 580-7000

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Pastry Chef Katherine Clapner
Stephan Pyles | Dallas

Katherine Clapner is a fearless pastry chef whose bold presentations and flavor combinations are unexpected but successful. Katherine draws from Stephan Pyles' savory pantry of Peruvian corn, saffron, fennel pollen, Mahleeb, coriander seeds, and white balsamic gel to create whimsical, almost Dr. Seuss-like plates that draw the eye to a tower of dusted doughnuts, spirals of crispy Peruvian Ponderaciones, and generous quenelles of ice cream that teeter between sweet and savory. Katherine replaces sugar with agave syrup for fruity, sugar-free desserts that are true to her well-defined culinary philosophy. Katherine credits Shayne Gorring and Stephan Pyles with sharing their knowledge and refining her skills.

Fresh Ricotta Cheesecake with Saffron, Black Currant Sorbet and Brown Butter Pears
Pastry Chef Katherine Clapner of Stephan Pyles – Dallas, TX
Adapted by StarChefs.com



  • 1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
  • 6 ounces powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tablespoon amchur powder, sifted
  • Zest of ½ orange, grated
  • Seeds of ½ vanilla bean
  • 1 teaspoon Maldon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 whole egg
  • Non-stick spray

    Black Currant Sorbet:
  • 1 pound Boiron black currant puree
  • 6 ounces water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 ½ ounces agave syrup

    Brown Butter Pears:
  • 4 ounces Plugra butter
  • 1 vanilla bean plus seeds of ½ vanilla bean
  • 1 Bosc pear, peeled
  • 4 ounces demerara sugar

    Mock Pear Butter:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ounces butter
  • Reserved pear scraps, chopped

    Saffron Anglaise:
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 ounces granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon saffron threads
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Seeds of ½ vanilla bean
  • 8 egg yolks

    To Assemble and Serve:
  • White Balsamic Gel


For the Cheesecake:
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Combine the ricotta, powdered sugar, amchur, orange zest, vanilla, Maldon, olive oil and egg in a medium bowl, and mix with a rubber spatula until well-combined (there will still be a few lumps).

Use the nonstick spray to coat 2½-inch square cake rings, then fill with the cheesecake mix. Smooth the tops of the batter with an offset spatula and bake for approximately 8-10 minutes. The cakes should acquire no color and be set but soft to the touch. Allow to cool and set at room temperature. Do not refrigerate.

For the Black Currant Sorbet:
Heat the black currant puree, water, salt and agave syrup over medium heat in a sauce pan. Chill the mixture completely and freeze according to ice cream maker directions. If using fresh black currants, be sure to double the amount of heat until reduced by half and press through a china cap before freezing.

For the Brown Butter Pears:
Over medium heat, combine the butter and vanilla bean in a small saucepan, then scrape in the seeds and cook until the butter begins to brown and takes on a nutty smell. Using the small end of a melon ball scoop, melon ball the pear into the brown butter, reserving the pear scraps. Add the sugar and cook on low, tossing occasionally, until the pears become a translucent light brown. Reserve, keeping warm.

For the Mock Pear Butter:
Caramelize the sugar and butter until medium brown, add the pear scraps, and cook on low for 10 minutes. Puree in a food processor and set aside.

For the Saffron Anglaise:
Combine the cream, sugar, saffron, salt and vanilla bean in a small saucepot and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat and let set for 10 minutes. Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks in a small mixing bowl, return the cream mixture to medium heat, and bring to a simmer. Do not boil. Slowly whisk the hot liquid into the egg yolks and return this mixture to the saucepot. Cook slowly for approximately 10 minutes or until the mixture is a thick cream. Strain through a fine sieve and cool in an ice bath immediately

To Assemble and Serve:
Using a sauce spoon, place some Saffron Anglaise on the left side of the plate and drag the sauce to the right of the plate in a swoosh. Place the cheesecake at the origin of the Saffron Anglaise and top with 1 teaspoon with of the Mock Pear Butter. Place two Brown Butter Pear balls to the right of the swoosh, then drizzle the white balsamic gel in the Saffron anglaise. Place a quenelle of the sorbet on top of the pear butter.


   Published: April 2007