My thankful thought for today:  I am thankful for the things we take for granted until we are faced with its impairment, walking, talking, seeing, hearing etc.

Last night we celebrated my husband and FIL’s birthdays……

We ate baked ziti, sausage and peppers, salad AND for dessert…leftover apple cake, roasted pear maple cheesecake….which did NOT set in 3 hours, Martha.…jus’ sayin’ and pumpkin spice mousse….yum!

I posted the apple cake recently, so you can search recipes for that one.  Here are the recipes for the other two…the cheescake is a Martha Stewart recipe and although she is the QUEEN...I made some miniscule changes to the recipe and have some tips, which I will share after I post the recipe.

As for the mousse, it was not made from scratch, however, it was yummy and is a GREAT, SIMPLE…1, 2, 3 addition….. if you don’t have time and need one more dessert….it also presents beautifully!

Ingredients

    • 2 bars (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
    • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup (fyi-divide this into 1/2 cp and 1/4 cup)
    • 1 cup cold heavy cream
    • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
    • 1 Easy Press-In Pie Crust (http://www.marthastewart.com/285864/easy-press-in-pie-crust), made in a 9-inch springform pan with vanilla wafers
    • Nonstick cooking spray (DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP)
    • 2 medium pears, such as Bosc or Bartlett, sliced lengthwise 1/8 inch thick

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on high until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup maple syrup; beat until smooth.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat cream and sugar on high until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. With a rubber spatula, stir about one-third the whipped cream into cream cheese mixture, then fold in remainder. Transfer to crust and refrigerate until firm, 3 hours (or up to 1 day). (this does NOT set in 3 hours…cook it the night before and let it set up  for several hours!)
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange pear slices in a single layer on sheet and brush with 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Roast until pears are soft, 20 minutes. Remove from oven and heat broiler. Brush pears with 2 tablespoons maple syrup and broil until browned in spots, about 4 minutes, rotating sheet frequently. Let cool. To serve, arrange pear slices, overlapping slightly, on cheesecake
CRUST

Ingredients

    • 6 ounces cookies (about 12 graham crackers, 46 vanilla wafers, or 30 chocolate wafers, such as Famous) (I doubled this)
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
    • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, pulse cookies until finely ground (you should have about 1 1/2 cups). Add sugar, salt, and butter and pulse until combined.
  2. Firmly press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate. (If using a springform pan, press crumbs halfway up sides.) Bake until crust is dry and set, about 12 minutes. Let cool completely in plate on a wire rack before filling.
LISA’S SMALL ADJUSTMENTS:
~ Make sure you divide the maple syrup…my first shot yesterday I added all 3/4 cps to cream cheese and had to start over…sigh.
~ Double the crust recipe if you are using a springform pan, which I also recommend.
~ I only roasted the pears and skipped the broiling…they were brown from the roasting….use your own judgement.
~ This pie definitely DOES NOT set in a few hours….make it the evening before.
It is a gorgeous cheesecake and tasted really fantastic...even when it is a mushy pile of goo…..WAAAA!!  I was so disappointed that I forgot to take a proper picture so here is  one of it being sliced.
Sidenote: I have made this cheesecake before and the recipe does work…don’t be scared…hehe.
 Pumpkin Spice Mousse:
This is so ridiculously easy and yummy and pretty all wrapped up in one!!  The only thing I don’t like is that it isn’t from scratch, but hey…whatever, right?!!
Ingredients:
2 boxes of Jello Pumpkin Spice Pudding
2 8oz containers of cool whip
1/2 cup chopped pecans
4 T brown sugar
2 T melted butter
Lisa’s adjustments:
I made fresh whipped cream instead of using the cool whip.
Fresh Whipped Cream:
2cps heavy cream
sugar (not sure of an exact measurement, I just add a little at a time until it tastes like whipped cream to me…sorry it’s that Italian thing I have).  My guess is start with a half of a 1/4 cup=1/8.
Beat with an electric mixer (I use the handheld) until it is the consistency of whipped cream 3-5 minutes.
Fold cream into pudding and spoon into dessert cups…I bought those fake cut crystal plastic ones and of course remembered afterward that I could have used wine glasses or even better, I have these cute shot glasses….sigh.  I did not completely incorporate the pudding and cream and folded it enough to create a striped effect….pretty, pretty.
TOPPING:
Melt butter
Add brown sugar and stir until dissolved
Add pecans and incorporate into butter/brn sugar
Spoon on top of mousse
It’s so pretty!!!
Yummy!!
And now I am going to ATTEMPT a nap, as I am off to the midnight viewing of Breaking Dawn tonight with my crazed Twilight fan daughter….sigh…the things you do for your kids!!
Enjoy your day!!
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