For the Cheesecake
1 T. unsalted butter, melted
3 T. graham cracker crumbs
2 lbs. Philadelphia cream cheese,
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. lemon zest
3 tsp. vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean pod, scraped
1/4 cup heavy
1/4 cup sour cream
1. Pre-heat the oven to 500°.
2. Brush sides and bottom of a 9’’ springform pan with butter. Sprinkle
graham cracker crumbs over bottom of pan and shake to coat evenly
3. Beat the cream cheese in a standing mixer until very smooth. Gradually
add the sugar and beat on medium speed until sugar dissolves (3-
4 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until incorporated
and scraping down the sides of the mixer bowl after each addition.
Add lemon zest, vanilla extract and vanilla specks and beat just until
4. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in cream and sour cream with a
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cheesecake at 500°
for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 200°. Bake until the
cheesecake’s perimeter is set, but center jiggles when pan is tapped,
about an hour.
6. Turn off the heat and use a long-handled fork or spoon the hold the
oven door open by about one foot.
7. Let the cheesecake rest for an hour, then place it on a wire rack and
let it cool to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake and refrigerate
it until chilled, at least 4 hours.
I recommend baking the cheesecake in a water bath (Bain Marie).
For the Compote
1 cup dry white wine
¼ cup sweet Marsala wine
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cinnamon stick
½ cup dried apricots, quartered
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup dried cherries
Dash gray sea salt
1 cup Granny Smith apples,
diced ¼-inch thick cubes
1 cup pears, ¼-inch slices
1 T. lemon zest
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1. In a 4-quart saucepan or pot bring the first 6 ingredients to a simmer.
Stir slowly to dissolve the sugar in the liquid.
2. Add the remaining ingredients except the lemon juice.
3. Bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, simmer for about 20.
4. Turn off the heat then stir in the lemon juice. With a slotted spoon
remove the fruit to a bowl.
5. Bring the remaining syrup to a simmer and reduce until lightly thickened
or when the bubbles formed on the top become small.
6. Remove the syrup for the heat and cool. Once cool mix with the fruit
and serve over cheesecake slices.
7. The compote can be made ahead and kept n the refrigerator for up
to 3 days.