Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake

Adapted by StarChefs.com
December 2011
Yield: 16 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

Spicy Pear Butter
4 cups pear purée
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground allspice
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Poached Pears
1½ cups sugar
3 cups white wine
3 cups water, with the juice of 4 lemons
4 lemons, squeezed and cut in half
5 tablespoon cinnamon sticks
1 pinch whole juniper berries
1 of saffron threads
4 whole Anjou pears, peeled and cut in half with seeds removed
Pumpkin Cake Layer
1 cup sugar
½ cup grapeseed oil
1 cup pumpkin purée
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Pumpkin Cheesecake Layer
2 pounds cream cheese
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups pumpkin purée
8 eggs
¾ cup heavy cream
Cream Cheese Custard
4 cup whole milk
1¼ cup sugar
8 egg yolks
½ cup + ⅛ cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon vanilla bean purée
24 ounces cream cheese

METHOD:

For the Spicy Pear Butter:
Combine pear purée, sugar, cinnamon, all spice, and cayenne pepper in a pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally for one hour, then cool over an ice bath. Reserve.

For the Poached Pears:
Place the sugar, wine, water, lemons, cinnamon, juniper berries, and saffron in a pot and bring to a boil. Add in the pear halves and cover with a clean towel. Boil over medium heat for 45 minutes until the pears are fork tender, then chill completely in poaching liquid until ready for use.

For the Pumpkin Cake Layer
Beat together the sugar, oil, pumpkin, and eggs for 3 minutes in a stand mixer. Add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger and mix on low speed until incorporated, and then on high speed for one minute. Pour onto a parchment-lined half sheet tray and spread out evenly. Bake 350°F for 10 minutes; cool and set aside.

For the Pumpkin Cheesecake Layer:
Cream the cream cheese, sugars, and spices with the paddle attachment of a mixer. Add in the purée, then add in the eggs one by one. Add in the heavy cream. Push entire mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Pour mixture on to a parchment-lined half sheet pan and bake at 300°F for 20 minutes. Let cool and set aside.

Stack the Pumpkin Cake on top the Pumpkin Cheesecake, then invert the stack onto a parchment-lined half sheet tray (the Pumpkin Cake layer is now on the bottom with the Cheesecake layer on top). Fit a half sheet pan extender around the two layers and set aside.

For Cream Cheese Custard:
Bring the milk to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk the yolks, sugar, corn starch, and vanilla bean puree together, and slowly whisk in milk. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat until the pastry cream thickens and boils, whisking constantly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, then whisk in the cream cheese. Push the entire mixture through a fine mesh strainer. While still hot pour the custard over the top of the Cheesecake Layer and using the pan extender as a guide, smooth out the custard. Let cool.

To Assemble and Serve:
Score the top of the cake for a total of 16 portions. Halve the Poached Pear Halves, then fan out each piece. Plate pears with slices of Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake.s.