Chestnut Cheesecake

Chestnut Cheesecake (from

4 ounces crushed graham crackers or 1 1/8 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon soft butter
1½ tablespoons sweetened chestnut purée or spread (available in many supermarkets and specialty food stores)

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
¾ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons rum
1 cup sweetened chestnut purée

¼ cup rum
1 tablespoon sweetened chestnut purée
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter.

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Fill a kettle with water and place over high heat.

2. Prepare base: In a food processor, combine crushed graham crackers or cracker crumbs, butter and chestnut purée. Process until mixture has consistency of wet sand. Press into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Refrigerate until needed.

3. Prepare cheesecake: In a heavy-duty mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Mix in sugar. Add eggs and egg yolks one by one. Add sour cream, lime juice, vanilla extract and rum, mixing until smooth and creamy. Using a rubber spatula, fold in chestnut purée until thoroughly incorporated.

4. Cover outside of a springform pan with a layer of plastic wrap so that bottom and sides are covered. Do the same with foil, covering layer of plastic to make a watertight casing. Place pan in a roasting pan and pour in cheesecake filling. Add enough boiling water from kettle to come just over an inch up the side of cake pan. Bake until just set on top with a hint of wobble underneath (cake will continue to cook as it cools), about 1 hour. Remove from roasting pan and cool to room temperature on a rack. Refrigerate overnight before unmolding.

5. Prepare syrup: In a small saucepan, combine rum, chestnut purée, sugar and butter. Place over medium heat and stir until melted. Boil for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

6. Remove cheesecake from refrigerator to remove chill before serving. Cut into slices and drizzle each with a spoonful of syrup.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

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