Mascarpone cheesecake with fig olive oil cake, dried black plum jam recipe


  • Yield: 8 Servings


For the Jam
  • Scant ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon apple pectin powder
  • 8 ounces plump dried black plums (prunes), pitted
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) water
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) dry red wine
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
For the Cheesecake
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) water
  • 1 tablespoon unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) heavy cream
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 5 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean paste, or pure vanilla extract
For the Cake and Ice Cream
  • 6 plump dried figs
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (3 ounces) olive oil
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • Generous ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) half-and-half
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean paste, or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Scant ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup egg yolks (5 to 6 large)
  • ½ cup fresh red currants, crushed lightly, or thawed frozen (no crushing needed)
How to Make It
    Prepare the Dried Plum Jam
  1. Line a 9 × 12-inch baking pan with plastic wrap.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and pectin. Make sure the pectin is well dispersed in the sugar. Reserve.
  3. Puree the dried plums with the water in a food processor.
  4. Scrape the puree into a medium saucepan and pour in the wine.
  5. Whisk in the sugar-pectin mixture.
  6. Place the pan on high heat and stir the mixture constantly until the jam reaches 215°F– 220°F, measured on a candy thermometer.
  7. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  8. Pour the jam into the prepared pan. Place another piece of plastic wrap directly on its surface. Let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until needed.
  9. To Prepare the Cheesecake
  10. Line a 9 × 12-inch baking pan with plastic wrap.
  11. Pour the water into a small saucepan or sauté pan. Sprinkle the gelatin over it and let stand for several minutes for the gelatin to soften.
  12. Pour the cream into the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment. With high speed, whisk the cream until it is softly peaked. Refrigerate until needed. Scoop out into another bowl if you only have one bowl for your mixer, then rinse out the bowl.
  13. Warm the pan of gelatin over medium heat and stir to dissolve it. Remove from the heat.
  14. Combine in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment the sugar, salt, and cream cheese. Mix at low speed, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  15. Stop the mixer and add the mascarpone cheese, lemon juice, vanilla, and gelatin mixture. Mix again at low speed until combined. Raise the speed to medium high and beat for 2–3 minutes, until very silky, creamy, and thick.
  16. Fold in the whipped cream by hand.
  17. Spoon mixture into the prepared pan, cover and refrigerate.
  18. To Prepare the Cake
  19. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, lightly buttered.
  20. Puree the figs in a food processor. Reserve.
  21. Whisk together in a small bowl the olive oil, milk, and egg. Reserve.
  22. Combine in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment the sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using low speed, combine the dry ingredients.
  23. Add the oil mixture in a slow steady stream, then raise the speed to medium and mix just until fully combined.
  24. Stir in the pureed figs by hand.
  25. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 15–18 minutes, or until lightly golden and set. Cool the cake in the pan over a baking rack.
  26. To Prepare the Ice Cream
  27. Combine in a medium saucepan the half-and-half, milk, and vanilla. Warm the mixture over medium heat until it just comes to a boil.
  28. Meanwhile, whisk together in a large bowl the sugar and egg yolks until thick and pale lemon in color.
  29. Pour the milk mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking continually to temper the yolks, then transfer the mixture back to the pan. Continue cooking over medium-low heat, stirring with a rubber spatula, about 10 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of the spatula.
  30. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and chill over an ice bath or refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  31. Once chilled, pour into an ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice cream is ready, but still a bit soft, fold in the currants. Mix only enough to get a marbled look to the ice cream. Use immediately or place in the freezer until needed.
  32. Putting it all Together
  33. Cut the cheesecake into 8 slices about 1 × 6 inches and place them on 8 plates. (You will have some remaining that you can use for another dessert or a midnight snack.) Tear the cake into 24 more or less equal small pieces. Arrange 3 pieces of cake on each plate, somewhat covering the cheesecake. Spoon on a dollop of jam and scoop of currant ice cream to the side of each. Serve immediately.

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