Mini Pear and Ginger Cheesecakes with Walnut Shortbread Crust

1/2 cupflour
1/4 cupwalnuts
1 tablespoon + 1/3 cupsugar
1/8 teaspoonkosher salt, plus a pinch
3 tablespoonsunsalted butter, melted
12 ouncescream cheese, at room temperature
1egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoonground ginger
1/2 teaspoonground cinnamon
Pear & Cranberry Compote:
2 tablespoonsbutter
1/3 cuplight brown sugar, firmly packed
1 medium (8 ounces)pear peeled, cored and cut into 1/4" dice
1 cupcranberries
1/3 cupsweet white wine, such as a late harvest Riesling or Gew├╝rztraminer
2 tablespoonsdiced candied ginger
1/2 teaspoonground cinnamon
pinch of salt

Equipment List

Saute Pans
Mixing Bowls

Instructions

Have all cheesecake ingredients at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly butter the wells of a miniature cheesecake pan.

In a food processor, combine the flour, walnuts, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt and pulse until the nuts are ground. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and stir in the melted butter. Divide the mixture among the prepared wells and press evenly into the bottoms.

Bake until the crusts are set and golden brown around the edges, about 12 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Reduce the oven temperature to 250 F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the cream cheese and 1/3 cup sugar and beat on low speed until smooth, about 8 to 10 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the egg, scraping down the sides of the bowl after adding it. Add the ginger, cinnamon and pinch salt and beat until completely blended, about 1 minute. Pour the filling into the crusts, dividing it evenly among the wells.

Bake until the filling is set, about 30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before removing the cheesecakes from the pan.

Pear & Cranberry Compote
In a medium saut├ę pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the pear and cranberries and cook until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Increase the heat to high and add the wine, candied ginger, cinnamon and salt. Cook until the mixture has reduced and become syrupy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat. Spoon about 1 tablespoon over the top of each mini cheesecake. Compote should be served warm or at room temperature.

Makes 12 miniature cheesecakes.

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