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Maple Mascarpone Cheesecake

By Jennifer Scharffer, Ruth Klein, Maureen Sepp, Britany Tremayne

This pie is original because the cheesecake is layered with a mascarpone maple cream mixture. Mascarpone is an Italian cream cheese. Ironically, it is said that it got its name from a Spanish official when Spain dominated Lombardy. It was first named “mas que bueno,” which, when translated to English, means “better than good.” We found this to be pretty exemplary of the University of Idaho and Vandal Pride as well. The U of I encourages its students to strive for excellence, and that is what sets it apart from other colleges. As students, we are trained to be “better than good.” We are “better than good” academically, athletically, and of the many other aspects of our lives. We also found this recipe to be a fantastic addition to a Thanksgiving meal. We’d like to ask you what comes to mind when you think Thanksgiving. Any ideas?

When we think of Thanksgiving, we think of fall. When fall comes around, we often see the turning of leaves from green to yellow, red, orange, brown and auburn colors. For many of us, this means wearing warmer clothes, sitting by the fire, drinking hot chocolate, eating comfort foods, and what better time to do all of these things than at Thanksgiving dinner!? Imagine this, you are going through a line of delicious entrees and side dishes, such as turkey, stuffing, green-bean casserole, hot rolls, cranberries, and at the very end of the table is this lovely, warming brownish speckled cheesecake, lined with pecans and centered with a cinnamon stick. It looks warm, tastes comforting, and satisfies your every need leading up to that very moment that you lead the cake to your mouth. We all know that food can make people happy and this velvety cheesy pie will seduce your taste buds with the sweetness of maple and fulfillment of Mascarpone cream. What could make you happier? Maple is a taste that most families have never indulged in for the Thanksgiving holiday. But, this recipe introduces maple in such a subtle way that once you try it, this is a recipe that you cannot refuse to bring to the dinner table every year on Thanksgiving. It has an exceptional taste and character that nobody will forget.

  • Oven: 350⁰F Place baking rack in middle of oven

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp sugar

Cheesecake Filling

  • 12 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ Tbsp honey
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream

Maple Mascarpone Topping

  • 1 cup Mascarpone cheese
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 banana
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 3 Tbsp pecans

Directions

In a small bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with butter and sugar. Stir until moistened. Press mixture evenly into bottom of 9” pie pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Place on cooling rack. Lower oven temperature to 325⁰F. In medium to large bowl, whip cream cheese on medium speed until spoon. Add sugar and beat until fluffy peaks form. Beat in sour cream and eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla, honey and cream. Pour into prepared crust. Bake 35-40 minutes or until top of cheesecake is lightly browned and center jiggles slightly. Place on cooling rack until slightly cooled. Blend Mascarpone and cream until mixture is consistent. Mash banana with fork until soft and in very small pieces. Add to mixture and blend until smooth. Stir in maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour topping over cheesecake. Sprinkle or garnish with pecans. Refrigerate overnight and serve.

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