Three Cheese Pumpkin Cheesecake

Three Cheese Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust

  • 1 c. granola (no large nuts or raisins)
  • 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 c. dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter

Filling

  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 oz Quark, room temperature
  • 8 oz. chevre, room temperature
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Toss the granola, graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and spices together in a medium bowl. Stir in the butter and pat the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl and using an electric mixer on low, beat together cream cheese and sugar. Add in quark and beat for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and salt; beat until mixture is very smooth, about 5 more minutes.
  3. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake on a rack positioned in middle of oven until just set, about 1 hour.  Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour with the door cracked open. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 4 to 5 hours or up to 3 days. Serve with whipped cream.

Printable Version

Adapted from Country Living

Cocoa Cheesecake

We had a nice little sprinkling of snow the other day, so I took full advantage in my own special way.  In other words, I baked a cheesecake.  I will use any excuse possible to turn on my oven.  I also used it as an excuse to make marshmallows.  As I was listening to the news report on school delays, I thought about how fun it would be to get the kids involved in cutting out the marshmallows and tossing them in powdered sugar then floating them in some warm cocoa after playing in the snow. Unfortunately, my foodie daughter lives in Germany and my son is 24, so he doesn’t get excited about these things anymore.

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Cocoa Cheesecake

Crust:

  • 20 chocolate sandwich cookies
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and generously grease a springform pan.

Place the cookies in a food processor and pulse until finely ground.  While the food processor is running, drizzle in the melted butter.  Press the crumbs into the bottom of the springform pan and bake for 8-10 minutes.  Cool completely.

Filling:

  • 1 1/2 pounds Quark
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa mix*
  • 1/3 cup corn starch
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add 1 pound Quark, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup cocoa mix, and the corn starch.  Starting on low, mix for one minute, then increase to medium and mix for 2-3 minutes or until fully incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the rest of the quark, sugar, and cocoa mix.  Mix for one minute.  Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping after each addition.  Add the vanilla and whipping cream and mix just until incorporated.  Transfer to the springform pan and bake for approximately one hour.  The center should be set, but slightly jiggly.  Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside for another hour.  Move to a rack and cool completely, then chill for 2 hours or overnight.

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Marshmallows

  • I cup water
  • 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn starch

 

Lightly spray a 12 x 17 pan** with cooking spray, line the pan with parchment paper, leaving a bit of the paper hanging over the side of the pan. The paper makes it easy to lift the marshmallows out of the pan.  Lightly spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, pour in 1/2 cup water and sprinkle gelatin on top.  Let sit for 5 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, bring 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt to a rolling boil, and boil for one minute or until a candy thermometer reads 240 degrees F.  Do not stir the mixture while mixture is cooking and be careful.  This mixture is extremely hot, and keep this part away from children.

Using the whip attachment, mix the gelatin for a minute to break up the clumps.

Slowly drizzle the hot sugar syrup along the side of the bowl,  did I mention be careful?

Turn the mixer to high speed and whip for 8-10 minutes or until thick and fluffy.

Immediately pour into the prepared pan, and spread out with an offset spatula.  It will be messy.

Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and press, greased side down, over the marshmallow mixture to smooth it out.

Allow to sit for 6 hours or overnight.

Mix together the powdered sugar and corn starch and sprinkle over a work surface.

Turn out the marshmallow slab and cut into desired shapes using a greased knife or cookie cutters.

Toss with additional powdered sugar mixture to keep them from sticking together.

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*I have used both the kind of cocoa mix that you add water and the kind that you add milk.  Both work fine.  The kind you add milk has a more chocolatey flavor, while the kind that you add water has a creamier flavor.  Both are delicious.

**A 12×17 pan makes thin marshmallows.  For thicker marshmallows, use a 9×13 or 9×9 pan.

Three Cheese Pumpkin Cheesecake

A slice of cheesecake

I recently adapted this recipe that was originally published in Country Living.  I love trying new recipes and I was especially excited to try this one.  I made it, then sprang it on some unsuspecting family members and store customers.  That’s a perk, by the way, of hanging out at the Cheese Shop.  Customers and employees are occasionally enlisted to try out new recipes.  They get free samples and I get constructive input.  Definitely a win-win situation!

Three Cheese Pumpkin Cheesecake

I specifically chose a couple of people to try this cheesecake because one of the main ingredients is chèvre.  I chose people who said that they didn’t like goat cheese as well as some who love it.  I must say, the response was completely different than I expected.  I didn’t tell them what types of cheese were in it but asked them to guess.  Everyone LOVED it, but nobody, even the goat cheese lovers, could tell what the three types of cheese were in the recipe.  When I told them the three cheese combination they all responded similarly: “Goat cheese!  That’s what I’m tasting!”

The combination of cheeses gives the cheesecake a luscious flavor and texture.  The creamy texture of the cream cheese combines with the light tang of the Quark for a melt in your mouth experience, then you get a rich finish from the goat cheese.  Quality ingredients are important.  If you are nearby, I recommend heading down to Gothberg Farms for the chèvre.  The quality and flavor are much better than any goat cheese I have had from a grocery store.  John and I used the trip as an excuse for a ride down beautiful Chuckanut Drive on John’s new motorcycle.  I love my job!

Three Cheese Pumpkin Cheesecake

Three Cheese Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust

  • 1 c. granola (no large nuts or raisins)
  • 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 c. dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter

Filling

  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 oz Quark, room temperature
  • 8 oz. chevre, room temperature
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Toss the granola, graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and spices together in a medium bowl. Stir in the butter and pat the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl and using an electric mixer on low, beat together cream cheese and sugar. Add in quark and beat for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and salt; beat until mixture is very smooth, about 5 more minutes.
  3. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake on a rack positioned in middle of oven until just set, about 1 hour.  Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour with the door cracked open. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 4 to 5 hours or up to 3 days. Serve with whipped cream.

Adapted from Country Living

S’Mores Cheesecake for National Cheesecake Day

S'mores CheesecakeToday is national cheesecake day so I felt it was necessary, mandatory in fact, to make a cheesecake.  I found this fabulous idea by Lyuba at “Will Cook For Smiles” so I couldn’t wait to try it out and adapt the idea to my favorite Quark cheesecake recipe.

I enlisted Lindsey on her last day with us to help me out.  Lindsey made the crust while I made the filling.  According to Lyuba’s directions, you make an extra thick graham cracker crust, then top it with a layer of mini chocolate chips and a layer of mini marshmallows, then pour the filling over the top.  Once Lindsey had the crust ready, I poured in my batter.  Now is when I need to mention that Quark cheesecake batter is much thinner than a cream cheese batter.  As soon as I poured the batter on the little mini marshmallows they began to pop up to the surface.  Lindsey ran to grab a straw and began a rather hilarious game of “whack a mole” or “whack a marshmallow” to be more exact.  It was a losing game, no matter how fast she pushed the marshmallows down, two more popped up to take its place.  I tried cooking it anyway and ended up with a layer of burnt marshmallows on top.  I dumped it and started over the next day without the marshallows on the crust.  This time it worked beautifully!

S’Mores Cheesecake

Crust:

  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup mini chocolate morsels

Cheesecake:

  • 24 ounces Quark
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream

Topping:

  • 10 oz hot fudge topping, warmed
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows

Spray an 8×3 inch cake pan with cooking spray, line the bottom only with parchment and spray the parchment.  Or if you prefer, use a greased springform pan wrapped in aluminum foil.**

In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, vanilla extract and brown sugar. Mix very well.

Spread crumb mixture in the bottom on the spring form, evenly, pressing it over the bottom and half way up the sides.

Spread mini chocolate morsels evenly over the bottom.

Preheat the oven to 325̊F  Put half of the Quark (12 ounces), 2/3 cup sugar, and 1/3 cup cornstarch in a large bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about three minutes.  Scrape down the bowl and add remaining Quark, beat well.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining sugar, then the vanilla.  Blend in the eggs, one at a time, and beating well after each addition.  Beat in the cream just until blended, do not overmix.  Pour into prepared crust.

Baking the Cheesecake

Place the cake pan in a shallow pan (I use a 10×2 inch cake pan, you will need something larger if you are using a springform pan) and place it on a low rack of the oven.  Fill the shallow pan with hot water, about one inch up the sides of the cakepan to form a water bath.  Bake 1 1/2 hours then turn off the oven and leave the oven door partway open, I like to use a wooden spoon to prop the door open.  Leave the cheesecake in the oven 30 minutes or until the center is set. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and transfer to a wire rack.  Let cool for at least two hours then refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

Flipping the cheesecake

Once the cheesecake is cooled, run a sharp knife around the edges to loosen from the pan.  Place a plate upside-down over the pan and while holding the pan and plate, flip them upside down.  The cheesecake should slide out onto the plate, if not, give it a gentle tap to loosen it.  Remove the pan and the parchment, place a serving plate upside-down on the crust and while holding both plates, flip everything over.

Cheesecake in pan

Spread warm hot fudge over the top of the cheesecake and spread marshmallows evenly on top.

Place cheesecake back in the center of the oven, under the broiler. Let marshmallow toast for only 30-35 seconds. Watch it because they toast very quickly. Take out the cheesecake once marshmallows are lightly browned.

Cool cheesecake completely, cover gently and refrigerate until ready to serve.

**I do not like springform pans so I developed this method that I love.  Feel free to use whichever pan you prefer…I won’t judge.

Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew today.

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Pie

Like the famous line from the movie “A Princess Bride,” marrying into a farm family in a tight-knit community brought a little more togetherness than I expected.  Moving into the little house overshadowed by the main farmhouse where my in-laws lived was a whole different world for me. I was fresh from college with a degree in marketing and business management and for all intents and purposes, moving into my inlaw’s home.  My inlaws are the best of people but it’s still a little unnerving.  In spite of my reservations, I was eager to embrace farm life and volunteered for farm chores.  He didn’t say anything, but I’m pretty sure that my father-in-law looked at my manicured fingernails and was not optimistic.

I started out driving the scraper tractor and was eventually allowed to do a little field work.  Up until 1989, I thought that “harrowing” was an adjective not a verb so when I was told to harrow the field, I may have giggled.  Once John explained that I would not be emotionally tormenting the grass, I gave it a go.  I only harrowed a couple of fields before the farmers in the family concluded that tractor work might not be the best fit for me.  My neat orderly rows gradually devolved into a random zig-zag pattern.  My father-in-law did not appreciate my [ahem] artistic results and my career as a tractor driver ended shortly after it started.  It was probably a good thing.

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Pie

I don’t know if my skills in the kitchen are any better than on a tractor, but my family appreciates my efforts exceedingly.  I tend to make a recipe over and over until I get it just how I like it.  It took a lot of tries and failures before I successfully learned to blind bake a pie crust for this recipe.  I made a lot of frisbees before learning to keep the sides from sliding irrevocably to the bottom of the pie pan.  Thankfully, there are a lot of delicious things that you can do with a pie crust frisbee!

Once I succeeded at the pie crust, thanks to helpful advice from friends and YouTube video tutorials, the rest was easy.  I’ve been making cheesecakes with quark for many, many years but this recipe is a fun novel approach.   I brought a couple of these pies to a church gathering and they were well very received.  It’s a good sign if you come home from a church potluck with empty pie pans.

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Pie

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Pie

Raspberry Sauce

  • 1 pre-baked pie crust
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water

Mix all of the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, remove from heat and set aside.

Cheesecake

  • 16 ounces Quark
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream

Blend the quark, sugar, and salt until smooth.  Add cornstarch, lemon extract, and lemon zest.  Gently fold in the eggs and cream, do not whip.

Spread the raspberry sauce in the pie crust, then spoon the cheesecake over the top.  Bake the pie at 325 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until barely set.

Turn off the oven and prop the door open.  Let the cheesecake pie sit in the oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature then chill completely before serving.