Cranberry and Candied Yam Cheesecake Tart

Prep Time: 2 Hours
Serves: 8-10

Comment: This rich and creamy dessert is almost like an entire Thanksgiving dinner all in one dish. We have combined candied yams with cream cheese and Creole cream cheese then topped the tart with cranberry sauce to create a unique blend of flavors.

Ingredients for crust:

¼ cup sliced or slivered almonds
1 1/3 cups flour
1 tbsp sugar
¼ pound cold, chipped butter
¼ cup ice water

Method for crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a food processor, pulse almonds until coarsely ground. Add flour and sugar and pulse for 1–2 minutes or until well blended. Add butter and pulse food processor 1 minute or until a coarse meal texture is achieved. Continuing to pulse, slowly add ice water, a little at a time, until dough forms into a ball. Remove and place on floured surface. Roll dough into a 1/8-inch thick circle that is about 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place rolled dough into an 11-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press the pastry into the rim. Fold in the overhanging dough and press to reinforce the side. Trim any excess pastry and refrigerate until firm. Line the pastry with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake 12 minutes or until the crust is set. Remove the weights and the paper then bake another 8–10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. While the crust is cooling make the filling.

Ingredients for filling:

  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsps canned candied yams, drained and puréed
  • ¼ cup Bittersweet Plantation Dairy Creole Cream Cheese
  • 1 (8-ounce) package of cream cheese
  • 1 (3 -ounce) package of cream cheese
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • pinch ground cloves
  • pinch ground allspice
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsps heavy cream
  • 3 tbsps pure maple syrup
  • 1½ tsps vanilla
  • 2 eggs

Method for filling:
In a large bowl, combine the Creole cream cheese, cream cheese, brown sugar, ground spices and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat ingredients at medium speed until smooth. Beat in candied yam purée until smooth. Blend in cream, syrup, vanilla and eggs at low speed. Place the crust on a large, sturdy baking sheet and set it in the oven. Pour filling into the crust and bake for 30 minutes until the filling is just set but still slightly jiggly in the center. Cover the edge with foil if the crust starts to brown too much. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely while making the topping.

Ingredients for Topping:

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries (½ pound)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 ½ tsps unflavored gelatin
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tbsps water

Method for Topping:
In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries with ½ cup of water and cook over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until they begin to pop. Let cool then transfer to a blender and purée until smooth. Strain the purée through a fine sieve. Rinse out the saucepan and add sugar and ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil and stir until dissolved. Let cool. Stir in the orange juice and cranberry purée. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the remaining 2 tbsps of water and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Microwave for 10 seconds, or until completely melted. Whisk gelatin into the cranberry mixture and pour the topping over the cooled tart. Shake gently to even out the topping. Refrigerate tart until set, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days. Remove the tart ring and serve with whipped topping and dried cranberries.

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Copyright © 2007 Chef John Folse & Company.
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