I love kumquats. I eat them with peel and seeds. Unfortunately, they are seasonal, so, it makes sense to enjoy them while they last. This cheesecake presents the kumquats in a nice, elegant way. Although you can eat the kumquats with the seeds, you will have to seed them for this recipe. The task is rather time consuming than difficult. If you stretch the preparation over two days you certainly won’t be tired at all.
The cheesecake itself is classic, dense and creamy.
I found the recipe in one of the issues of “Bon Appétit”. And baked the cake for my husband’s birthday. He isn’t questioning the necessity of the magazine subscription anymore…
For the candied kumquats:
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 9 ounces kumquats (about 25 medium), thinly sliced crosswise, seeds removed
For the crust:
- 2 cups vanilla wafer cookie crumbs (made from about 9 ounces cookies, finely ground in processor)
- 1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoons finely grated orange peel
- 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
Make candied kumquats:
Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean; add the bean. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the kumquats; reduce the heat. Simmer until the kumquat slices are translucent, about 30-35 minutes. Remove from the heat; cool the kumquats in the syrup. Strain the kumquats, reserving the syrup. Combine the kumquats and 1/4 cup syrup in a small bowl. Return the remaining syrup to the same saucepan; boil until reduced to 1 ¼ cups, about 8 minutes.
Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover separately and chill.
Make the crust:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Line the bottom with a parchment paper circle.
Combine the cookie crumbs and brown sugar in a medium bowl; add the melted butter and stir. Press the crumb mixture evenly onto the bottom and 1 inch up sides of the springform pan. Bake the crust until set and the edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool the crust in the pan on a rack. Maintain the oven temperature.
Wrap 4 layers of heavy-duty foil tightly around the outside of the pan with the crust to make the pan waterproof.
Make the filling, bake the cake:
Combine 1/4 cup sugar, and orange peel in a small saucepan. Rub with your fingers until the sugar is moist and aromatic, add the orange juice, Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat. Simmer until the mixture is reduced to 3/4 cup, about 10 minutes. Chill until cool.
Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and remaining 3/4 cup sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Mix in the sour cream, flour, and salt. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Mix in the cooled orange juice mixture. Pour the filling into the crust; place the springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up sides of the springform pan.
Transfer carefully to the oven and bake until softly set, about 1 hour-1 hour 15 minutes. Turn off the oven. Let the cake stand in the oven for another hour. Transfer the springform pan onto the rack and cool. Cover; chill the cake overnight.
Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen and remove the side of the pan. Transfer the cake to a plate. Arrange kumquat slices atop cake, covering completely.
Cut cake into wedges; drizzle some kumquat syrup over and serve.
The kumquat syrup is perfect with the cake—but don’t stop there. It’s also yummy drizzled over vanilla or coffee ice cream or in a cup of tea, a glass of club soda, or even a vodka Martini.