Pistachio Brittle Cheesecake
1 (5 1/2 ounce) package shortbread cookies
1/2 cup natural unsalted pistachios
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced
Preheat oven to 350°F. Blend shortbread, nuts and sugar in processor until nuts
are finely ground. Add butter; process until moist clumps form. Press onto
bottom of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Wrap
outside of pan with foil. Bake crust until golden, about 15 minutes. Cool crust.
Filling and Topping
24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
4 large eggs (at room temperature)
2 1/4 cups sour cream
1/2 cup pear nectar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 ounces good-quality white chocolate (such as
Lindt or Baker's), finely chopped
Beat cream cheese, sugar and cardamom in large bowl until smooth. Beat in eggs 1
at a time. Add 1 cup sour cream, pear nectar, flour and vanilla extract and beat
until blended. Pour filling over crust.
Bake cheesecake until puffed at edges and softly set in center, about 1 hour 5
minutes. Transfer cheesecake to rack; let cool 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, stir white chocolate in top of double boiler set over barely
simmering water until smooth (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Cool
chocolate to lukewarm; whisk in remaining 1 1/4 cups sour cream.
Spread topping over warm filling. Refrigerate cake uncovered overnight. Cut
around pan sides; release pan sides. Place cake on platter. Stand brittle pieces
on edge in topping on cheesecake.
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup natural unsalted pistachios
Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray. Stir sugar and water in heavy small
saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil until
deep amber color, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush
and swirling pan, about 12 minutes.
Stir nuts into caramel and immediately pour onto prepared sheet. Working quickly
and carefully (caramel is very hot and hardens fast), press tip of small knife
into edges of caramel and gently stretch in all directions to form very thin
sheet, approximately 12 by 10 inches. Cool brittle completely.
Break brittle into irregular pieces. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Store
airtight at room temperature.)
Source: Bon Appétit - December