Gordon Ramsay Christmas Recipes: Pear and Amaretto Cheesecake
For those tired of traditional Christmas pudding, Gordon Ramsay's Pear and Amaretto Cheesecake makes a refreshing change this year
Showcase seasonal English ingredients, with an Italian twist, with this delicious cheesecake recipe from Gordon Ramsay's Christmas with Gordon cookbook.
Simple and delicious, this cheesecake requires neither gelatine nor baking. To save time, you can use a tin of pear quarters in natural juice, but freshly poached pears lend a better flavour and texture.
For the Poached pears:
2 large pears
50g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
For the Base:
150g digestive biscuits
50g unsalted butter
2 tbsp chocolate spread, such as Nutella
For the Filling:
300g full-fat cream cheese (i.e. Philadelphia-type)
125g caster sugar
550ml double cream
3 tbsp amaretto liqueur
100g amaretti biscuits, lightly crushed
120g good-quality dark chocolate
icing sugar, to dust
First, poach the pears for the filling. Peel, quarter and core the pears, then cut into 1cm dice. Dissolve the sugar in the water in a small saucepan over a low heat. Split the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds into a large bowl; set aside for later. Add the pod to the sugar syrup and simmer for a few minutes to infuse. Add the diced pears and poach gently for about 3 minutes. Drain and leave to cool.
For the cheesecake base, blitz the digestives in a food processor to fine crumbs, then tip into a bowl. Melt the butter in a small pan and stir in the chocolate spread. Add to the biscuit crumbs and mix well. Spread the mixture evenly over the base of a 23–24cm springform cake tin, pressing down lightly. Chill for at least 20 minutes until set. For the filling, add the cream cheese and sugar to the vanilla seeds. Using a hand whisk, beat the mixture until well blended. Add 450ml of the cream and the liqueur and whisk to soft peaks. Fold in the crushed amaretti biscuits and poached pears. Spoon the filling on top of the biscuit base and level the surface. Chill for at least 30 minutes, or until firm. Spread over the remaining cream to form a thin layer, then chill again.
For the decoration, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of hot water, then spread in an even layer on a marble slab or the underside of a clean baking sheet. Leave until just set, then draw a sharp knife across the surface at an angle of about 25° to shave off large curls.
To unmould the cheesecake, run a hot thin-bladed knife around the edge and remove the side of the tin. Slide a palette knife under the cheesecake and transfer to a flat plate. Arrange the chocolate curls decoratively on top, then dust with icing sugar. Cut into slices to serve. (This dessert will keep in the fridge for a day or two.)