Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Maple-Sweet Potato Cheesecake Squares with Cranberry Topping

I am an experimental baker, by that I mean that I'm pretty terrible at following recipe directions.  Some of my experiments come out better than others.  Here's one that came out so well, I thought I'd share it with you.  The cheesecake filling came out like a light, fluffy custard, and the maple sweetness paired really well with the tart cranberries.

After our trip to the cranberry bogs, I wanted to make something really special that featured these beautiful, fresh cranberries.  I also had 3 lbs. of local organic cream cheese and a half-gallon of local organic cream in the fridge....hmmmm, what to make?  I browsed many different recipes and came up with this...
 Ayla helped 'sort' the cranberries and Sylvia helped crush (and eat) the cookies.

Gluten-free cookie crust (or use your favorite graham cracker crust recipe):
1 8-oz. pkg of Mi-Del gluten-free Arrowroot Cookies (minus a couple of child-size handfuls ;)
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Crush cookies into small crumbs.  Melt and add butter.  Press into the bottom of baking dish.  I used a 9 x 13" glass baking dish.  Bake at 350 F until lightly browned, about 14 min.

Cheesecake filling:
24 oz. of cream cheese (This would be 3 8-oz pkgs.)
2/3 c. pure maple syrup
3/4 c. heavy whipping cream
2 lg. eggs
1/4 c.(or up to 3/4 c.) cooked mashed sweet potato (or pumpkin or winter squash, like butternut)

I cannot find my stand-mixer attachments since our move (oh, where are you missing box of kitchen supplies?) so I mixed everything by hand with a large fork.  I mixed the cream cheese until it was relatively smooth then added the maple syrup and creamed them together.  Next I added the cream and eggs, and then the sweet potato, mixing thoroughly.  Then, I poured into the slightly cooled crust.  Bake at 350 F for 1 hour.

Cranberry-Maple Topping
3 c. fresh (or frozen) cranberries
1/2 c. pure maple syrup

Over medium-low heat, cook cranberries and maple syrup together in a pot, stirring often.  The cranberries will pop and release their juices.  Cook until the mixture starts to thicken.  It will continue to thicken as it cools.  (You can play with the berry-syrup ratio.  This comes out just the right mixture of sweet and tart for my taste.)

After allowing the cheesecake and the topping to cool, spread the cranberry-maple mixture evenly across the top, and refrigerate. Enjoy!

This recipe is shared at Natural Suburbia, The Magic Onions, and Ordinary Life Magic.  Thanks to all of them for sharing the links!!

4 comments:

  1. Oh...my...god...this looks so awesome.

    Must try it!!!

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  2. That looks delicious. However, we don't get fresh cranberries in the south. What part of the country are you in? I'll have to try the "lesser" frozen cranberries, if they are even in. Such a beautiful desert!

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  3. I think frozen cranberries would work very well. I'm in south-central Wisconsin, so lots of cranberries around these parts :)

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  4. That looks so good! I never would have imagined sweet potato or squash in cheesecake!

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