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Sense & Edibility's Spiced Pear Topped Cinnamon Cheesecake

Cinnamon Cheesecake topped with Spice Poached Pears

Autumn is celebrated with this spiced, comforting cheesecake. 
Course Sweets
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 10 hours 55 minutes
Servings 10 servings


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup apple-brandy or dry white wine
  • 2 cinnamon sticks about 4" long,or 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 cardamon pod seeds or 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp whole cloves or 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 nutmeg seed or 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 allspice seed or 1/4 tsp ground allspice (optional)
  • 1/2" piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 3 Bosc pears halved, cored and sliced in 1/4" thick slices
  • 8 oz gingersnap cookies or 2 sleeves graham crackers, crushed into crumbs
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 4 8 oz pkgs cream cheese softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Toffee Sauce (link in post) optional


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Set out a pan that is large enough to hold your cheesecake pan for baking. Boil water for a bain-marie which will be used to bake in. 
  • In a medium saucepan, dissolve the first quantity of sugar in the water. Bring the water to a boil. Add the brandy (or wine) and the spices; stir and continue boiling for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, making sure the water is barely moving. Add the sliced pears and poach for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the pears to steep while you prepare the cheesecake. Stir the pears once or twice while they steep.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the cookie crumbs and melted butter. Stir to form a mixture that holds together when grabbed. Pack the mixture into the bottom of a cheesecake pan and level out. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until toasted. Remove and set aside to cool.
  • While your crust is baking, begin creaming your cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Once it is smooth, add the sugar, followed by the eggs (one at time). Make sure to scrape down the bowl after the addition of each item, and mix the batter completely after each as well.
  • Mix in the vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. After scraping down your bowl, add the cornstarch and beat until combined.
  • Wrap the bottom of your cheesecake pan in two layers of heavy duty aluminum foil. Pour the batter into the pan and top, decoratively, with the pears. 
  • Carefully, pour the hot water into your larger pan, then set the cheesecake pan into the larger pan. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 1 hour. After 1 hour, turn the oven off and prop open the oven door. Allow the pan cheesecake to cool for an additional hour. Finally, remove from the oven and the bain-marie and cool for an additional 30 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 8-24 hours before un-panning and topping with Toffee Sauce. Enjoy!