Pomegranate Basil Vodka Cheesecakes

INGREDIENTS:

makes about ~36 mini cheesecakes

For crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs/digestive biscuits
  • 1/4 tspn ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tspn ground nutmeg, cloves, or allspice
  • 1/3 cup melted butter

METHOD:

  1. Combine ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Mixture will be crumbly, but when pressed between your fingers will stick together.
  2. Press the crumb into your cheesecake mold, using a flat bottom to press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan and up the sides a little.  (I found that about a Tbspn of crust was sufficient in these mini cheesecake molds, and I used the end of a small rolling pin to press the crumb down.)
  3. Put the pan in the freezer while making the cheesecake filling.

For the cheesecake filling
Have all filling ingredients at room temperature.

  • 1 1/2 lbs cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 16oz. sour cream
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tspn vanilla
  • 2 tspn lemon juice

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 165 degrees C.
  2. Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy with mixer on low throughout.
  3. Gradually add sugar and continue beating until creamy.
  4. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Add flour, vanilla, lemon juice, and mix.
  6. Add sour cream and beat well.
  7. Pour the filling into your spring form pan.
  8. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes.
  9. Do not remove from oven!  Turn the oven off, prop open the oven door ~ an inch or two, and leave for 1 hour.
  10. Remove from oven, let cool in the fridge for 24 hours to season.

Pomegranate Basil Vodka Reduction
makes enough for one squeeze bottle, but you really only need half a squeeze bottles for 36 mini cheesecakes.

  • 1 bottle fresh Pomegranate juice
  • 1 large pomegranate, seeded
  • a handful of large basil leaves
  • ~1/3 cup vodka
  • 1/4-1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4-1/3 cup cornstarch
  • empty teabags or cheesecloth with string

METHOD:

  1. Shred basil leaves and stuff into teabag or cheesecloth.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine juice, pomegranate seeds, prepared basil bag, vodka, sugar and cornstarch.  Whisk often to break up the cornstarch.
  3. Bring to a boil and boil for about a minute.  If the mixture is too runny still, simmer and reduce some of the liquid until desired consistency.
  4. Pour mixture into a squeeze bottle with a large opening in the nozzle (large enough for pomegranate seeds to pass through).  When mixture is cool, squeeze onto prepared cheesecakes.

 

 

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