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Maple Cheesecake with Roasted Pears

Serves Serves 8-10     adjust servings

This No Bake Maple Cheesecake with Roasted Pears is one of my favorite cheesecakes! It is so easy to make but feels super fancy. It is the perfect fall dessert for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year's Eve! The maple and pear flavors were made for each other.

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 46 vanilla wafers, about 6 ounces
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted

For the cheesecake

  • 2 bars (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple extract, or up to 1 teaspoon
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 medium pears, such as Bosc or Bartlett, sliced lengthwise 1/8 inch thick

Instructions

  1. Make the crust first. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, pulse cookies until finely ground (you should have about 1 1/2 cups). Add sugar, salt, and butter and pulse until combined.
  2. Firmly press crumb mixture into bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9 1/2 inch springform pan. My new favorite trick is to use a measuring cup to press it into the corners, works great. Bake until crust is dry and set, about 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely. Stick it in the freezer or the fridge.
  3. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat cream cheese on high until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup maple syrup and the 1/2 teaspoon maple extract; beat until smooth.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat cream and powdered sugar on high until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. With a rubber spatula, stir about one-third the whipped cream into cream cheese mixture, then fold in remainder. Transfer to crust and refrigerate until firm, 3 hours (or up to 1 day).
  5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray, or use a silpat. Arrange pear slices in a single layer on sheet and brush with 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Roast until pears are soft, about 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and turn on the broiler. Brush pears with 2 tablespoons maple syrup and broil until browned in spots, about 4 minutes, rotating sheet frequently. Keep an eye on it! Never walk away from your broiler! Let cool. To serve, arrange pear slices, overlapping slightly, on cheesecake.

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