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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Coconut-Sweet Potato Cheesecake

I nabbed this recipe from and it was a big hit a few Thanksgivings ago. It really is fabulous. I decided to make it again this year and as several friends asked for the recipe, I thought I'd share it here on Evenings With Peter. It's separated into three parts--the sweet potato mixture, the crumb coating, and the filling. It's a little time intensive but I think you'll agree it's worth the effort. Do enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Coconut-Sweet Potato Cheesecake

Adapted from Bon Appetit, November 2004
Makes 10 servings

Sweet potatoes
4 cups 1/3-inch cubes peeled red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams)
1 cup water
1/4 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon (packed) finely grated orange peel
1 teaspoon (packed) finely grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 large egg
2 tablespoons whipping cream

Crumb coating:
Powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 1/2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
3/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 15-ounce can sweetened cream of coconut (such as Coco López)*
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon (packed) finely grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
Additional sweetened flaked coconut, toasted

For sweet potatoes:
Combine first 13 ingredients in large saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered until potatoes are very tender and most of liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Transfer mixture to processor; puree until smooth. Whisk egg and cream in medium bowl to blend. Add 2 1/3 cups sweet potato puree and whisk to blend well. Cover and chill sweet potato mixture until cold.

For crumb coating:
Butter 10-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 1/2- to 2 3/4-inch-high sides; dust with powdered sugar. Mix graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in medium bowl until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press crumb mixture evenly over bottom and up sides of pan (coating will be thin). Chill 30 minutes. (Sweet potato mixture and crumb coating can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover; chill separately.)

For filling:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, ricotta cheese, and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Add cream of coconut, lemon juice, lemon peel, and vanilla; beat until smooth. Fold in 1 cup flaked coconut and sweet potato mixture. Pour filling into prepared pan. Place pan on rimmed baking sheet and bake cake until filling is just set in center, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Transfer cheesecake directly to refrigerator and chill uncovered overnight (center may sink). (Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.) Run small knife between cake and pan sides to loosen cake; remove sides. Place cake on platter. Sprinkle toasted unsweetened coconut over top edge of cheesecake. Serve chilled.

*Available in the liquor section of most supermarkets.

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