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Spiced Pear Cheesecake with a Coconut Pecan Crust

By Tia Ohm

This time of year, the dessert of choice is pie, and in my book, cheesecake is more like a pie than a cake considering there is no flour to make it “cakey”; at least not in this recipe. We omitted the flour that some other New York cheesecakes have, and switched around the crust a bit. Instead of a traditional graham cracker crust, we decided to make a still flaky, but this time nutty crust. Use whatever kinds of nuts you like. We chose pecans because they were in the cabinet asking to be used. Add some coconut flakes and of course coconut oil, because we just love coconut, and you have a tasty, crumbly crust that does not have you missing the store-bought graham crackers. The one thing that really sets this a part from the rest though, is the spiced pears on top. I almost made a pumpkin cheesecake. I was so close to mixing in that pumpkin, because right now, everything is pumpkin. But at the last minute I changed my mind, grabbed the pears we got from the local market, sliced and spiced and layered on top. I wish I had a picture of the cheesecake from the top, it was beautiful. But things don’t always work out. What I can say is that it tasted as delightful as it looked. You will just have to trust me, and as always, enjoy! Note: If you do want to make this into a pumpkin cheesecake, it is really easy: just mix in 1 cup of pureed pumpkin, 1/8 tsp clove, 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/2 tsp cinnamon into only half the filling and layer half plain filling and half pumpkin mixed filling. You will cut it and have a nicely layered pumpkin cheesecake.

What You’ll Need:

for the crust:

  • 1 cup pecans (or other nuts)
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 4-5 T coconut oil or butter

for the filling:

  • 3 – 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup (make it 1 cup if you like it sweeter)
  • 3-4 large eggs (we used 3, but it could have been fluffier)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

for pear topping:

  • 2 bosc pears, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • squirt lemon juice
  • 9×9 inch spring form pan

What to Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 325° while you begin to prepare your crust. Blend pecans in a food processor, until coarsely chopped. Mix in coconut flakes, salt and coconut oil.
  2. Press crust mixture to the bottom of your spring form pan and bake in oven for 12-14 minutes or until the crust edges are just browned. Remove from oven to allow to cool and reduce oven temperature to 300°.
  3. Beat together cream cheese in a separate bowl until smooth with a hand mixer (we used a food processor and it was difficult to get it mixing). Add syrup and blend. Add 1 egg at a time then blend in the heavy cream and vanilla.
  4. Use coconut oil or butter to oil the sides of your spring form pan. Pour in your filling mixture.
  5. Bake at 300° on the top rack for about 1 hour with a separate dish filled with water on the bottom rack. The cheesecake will be done when the edges are firm and the middle is only slightly jiggly. Remove from oven and let set.
  6. Cook pears in a small pot on simmer with cinnamon, nutmeg, syrup and lemon juice for only about 5 minutes, stirring gently as to not break the slices.
  7. Once cake is set, add pears by starting on the outside and overlaying to create a spiral pattern until you have covered the whole top. Cover with plastic wrap and put in freezer for at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.

Makes 1-9×9 inch cake.