Yes, that is the seatbelt getting good use on the Old Okanagan Highway. No carseats on this trip, but safety always comes first!
So my precious beauties arrived home safely. They were the perfect inspiration for the some lovely dishes. Hubby watched the girls last night and I baked, kneaded, and chopped to prep for this morning's BT appearance. I made Pear, Gorgonzola, and Carmelized Onion Pizza, Asian Pear Slaw, Upside Down Pear Gingerbread Cake, and Cardamon Hand Pies. The Monster helped me with the ultimate recipe, the Honey Pear Cheesecake. It was a good thing she helped me last night because apparently she had a fit this morning watching me on TV. "I want to bake a cake with Mama on TV!" Maybe next time, Sweetie.
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (or crushed Nilla wafers, gingersnaps, or plain biscotti)
¼ cup butter, melted
2 tbsp sugar
3 (8 ounce) blocks of cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup honey
3 large eggs
1 vanilla bean
¾ cup pear puree or ½ cup pear nectar
½ cup flour
1 pear, peeled and finely diced
1 cup sour cream (optional)
¼ cup honey (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Boil a full kettle of water.
2. Mix together the cookie/cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until the consistency of wet sand. Press into a 9 inch springform pan, across the bottom and coming up the sides slightly. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool slightly and wrap the bottom of pan in two overlapping layers of aluminum foil.
3. Combine cream cheese and honey and beat until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating after each addition. Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and using the back of a small paring knife scrape the seeds from the bean. Add the seeds to the cream cheese mixture along with the pear puree or nectar and the flour. Mix until smooth. Finally, stir in the diced pear.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared crust and place in the springform pan in a larger pan. Transfer to the oven. Before closing the oven door pour water from the boiled kettle into the larger pan until it comes about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
5. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the cheesecake seems firm but still slightly wiggles in the center. Turn off the oven and close the oven door. Keep in the oven for another 60 minutes. Remove and cool completely in the fridge.
6. Optional topping: Before serving mix together the sour cream and ¼ cup honey. Pour over the cheesecake. (A nice touch or a way to disguise surface cracks.)
(Doesn't Dave Kelly look so enraptured by something? Probably not me or my pears - although I did manage to call them sexy on morning TV - but the segment went well.)