Mascarpone Pomegranate Cheesecake

Posted on by on October 1st, 2011 | 108 Comments »

This past week marked the beginning of Rosh Hashanah (meaning literally ‘head of the year’), the  Jewish new year. In years past it meant sitting around my mothers dinning room table enjoying a feast (and I mean feast, my mother cooks for an army) with family and friends. Now being half way around the world my husband and I celebrate in our own way and started making some new holiday traditions. Traditions that also include a feast. Obviously. This is the second year we hosted a pot luck Rosh Hashanah dinner with our wonderful friends who over the past year have become like family. Now the holidays are not the same without a house filled with MSIHers eating, drinking and laughing.

Most people know Rosh Hashanah to be the holiday of apples and honey to signify a sweet new year ahead. And, while apples and honey, challah and honey cake are still a main component at the holiday table, so are pomegranates. Pomegranates have great significance in the bible and is particularly important on Rosh Hashanah because legend has it that a pomegranate has exactly 613 seeds (though I never bothered to count them)  which is the number of mitzvot (commandments) that Jews are supposed to follow. Consuming pomegranates on Rosh Hashanah is supposed to remind us of the good deeds we should be doing in the year to come.

Israel may be known as the land of milk and honey but it should also be known as the land of pomegranates. Used to decorate temples and adorn priests’ garb, inspired by poets and talked about in length in the bible, piled hight at the shuk, gracing fresh juice stands and hanging from trees in most yards, (I even have my own beautiful pomegranate tree!)  pomegranates are truly the fruit of the holy land.

In keeping with tradition, Jews from all parts of the globe will include some element of their Rosh Hashanah feast to a symbolic food. Some will dip apples in honey, others with delight in challah and many will indulge in honey cake for dessert. Since I have my own pomegranate tree, I thought it would have been appropriate to include them in my holiday recipes.

I saw this recipe for mascarpone cheesecake from epicurious and with some tweaks, pomegranate molasses, pomegranate seeds and my moms sour cream cheesecake topping, I turned out a stunning and most delicious Rosh Hashanah dessert. I know that most baked cheesecakes scare people and since you never know what you will get while baking something here in Beer Sheva, I was worried but decided to go for it. I was feeling lucky.

“Cheesecake looks great but may or may not be cooked on the inside,” I texted to Katherine after taking it out of the oven. I let it chill overnight and as soon as I woke up I anxiously ran downstairs to cut a slice. It. Was. Perfect. So, if I can make a perfect baked cheesecake in Beer Sheva then wherever you are in the world, I am sure you will be able to do it too. And, you should because this cheesecake is seriously one of the best cheesecakes. Ever. I mean, hello, it has mascarpone cheese in it!

 

Ingredients (adapted from Gourmet Magazine)

For crust

8 1/2 ounces lemon wafers, finely ground
10 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

For filling

20 oz cream cheese, softened
8 oz mascarpone cheese at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

For topping

1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
pomegranate seeds from 2 large pomegranates

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F and butter bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
In a bowl stir together wafer crumbs and butter .
Pat wafer/butter mixture onto the bottom and sides (about an 1 1/2 up) of springform pan.
Place pan on a shallow baking pan and bake until golden, about 7-10 minutes.
Leave oven on.

While crust is cooling, make filling.
In a large bowl beat cream cheese, mascarpone, and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy.
Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add vanilla, lemon juice, salt and pomegranate molasses and mix until combined.
Pour filling into cooled crust and bake until cake is set and puffed around edge but still wiggles slightly when pan is shaken gently, 25 to 30 minutes.
Leave oven on.
Cool slightly in springform pan on rack.

While cheesecake is cooling make sour cream topping.
In a mixing bowl combine sour cream and powdered sugar.
Spread gently on top of slightly cooled cheesecake.
Return cheesecake to the oven and bake until topping is set, about 15 minutes.

Let cheesecake chill for at least 8 hours.
Before serving sprinkle top of cheesecake with pomegranate seeds.

 

L’Shana Tova!!!!

 

 

 

 

« Mini Apple Tartlets with Pumpkin Spice Caramel Sauce
Pumpkin Challah »

108 Comments

  1. Posted on: 10-1-2011

    This was SOOO good! Just perfection. It looks so professional! Thanks for hosting us and for sharing this awesome cheesecake 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-2-2011

      Thanks Katherine! I love having all of you guys here 🙂

  2. Posted on: 10-1-2011

    I don’t know what pomegranate cake I would choose, yours or Katherine’s… I think I would choose BOTH! 🙂
    This cheesecake is just perfect, like Katherine said 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-2-2011

      Thanks Giulia!! Katherines apple cake with pomegranate was also amazinggg

  3. Posted on: 10-1-2011

    Oh, this is one gorgeous cheesecake!!! Stunning photos!!! So nice you have a new “family” to help celebrate the holidays…happy new year!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-2-2011

      Thanks Liz! It is really nice to have such close friends to consider family and to be able to share the holidays with them.

  4. Posted on: 10-1-2011

    Absolutely stunning. What a cheesecake. you’ve combined two of my favorite things; cheesecake and pomegranate. I lived in the Middle East (Lebanon) for several years and fell in love with the fruit then. I’m so jealous that you have your own tree! Thanks for the pictures showing the fruit as it grows. That was so cool to see.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-2-2011

      Thanks!! I never saw the different stages pomegranates went through while developing. It was so cool to see! Glad you enjoyed the photos!

  5. Posted on: 10-1-2011

    This sounds absolutely magnificent. I don’t think I’ve ever seen pom molasses before, or a cheesecake with pomegranate before. Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe! The photos are fantastic, the cheesecake looks beautiful!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-2-2011

      Thanks so much Kate! Pomegranate molasses is the same as pomegranate syrup. You can find it in any specialty market or middle eastern market. You can also make your own really easily by boiling down pomegranate juice, sugar and some fresh lemon juice!!

  6. Posted on: 10-1-2011

    I have to agree with you that its does look the best among the rest, oozing with flavors.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-2-2011

      Thanks Nava! It really is one of the best cheesecakes ever. I may be a little biast being that I made it, BUT I dont think I have gotten so many complements on a dessert before, ever!!!

  7. Posted on: 10-1-2011

    So beautiful and I’m sure it was delicious! On our trip to Kuwait last year we had pomegranate cheesecake that I’ve been planning to try and recreate ever since. It wasn’t quite the same as yours, but you’ve definitely reminded me that pomegranate and cheesecake are a fabulous pairing.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-2-2011

      Thanks Ruby! You should try and recreate it! I would love to see other versions of a pomegranate cheesecake since the flavors are so amazing and perfect together!

  8. Posted on: 10-1-2011

    This is a beautiful cake, kudos to you!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-2-2011

      Thank you Sandra!!!

  9. Mom
    Posted on: 10-1-2011

    We missed you at the table but I am happy you have carried on the feast tradition! The cheesecake looks perfect! I can almost taste the pomegranates from the beautiful pictures.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-2-2011

      Thanks Mom. Of course I carried it on. I can never cook normal portions growing up in your house!!

  10. Posted on: 10-1-2011

    This is really amazing. I love all the pictures. I’d totally eat half this cake myself.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-2-2011

      Thanks Kim! Left on my own, I would have probably eaten more then just half myself 🙂

  11. Posted on: 10-1-2011

    This looks great, your cheesecake got me salivating. Love the photos. Happy Rosh Hashanah

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-2-2011

      Thank you Ali!

  12. Posted on: 10-1-2011

    L’Shana Tova to you as well. What a fabulous looking cheesecake. Does it taste as good as it looks?

    I hope you and your husband enjoyed your Rosh Hashanah and may you both be inscribed in The Book of Life!

    Thank you for sharing this incredibly gorgeous dessert.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-2-2011

      Thank you Vicki! It tastes better then it looks!!!!! We enjoyed our Rosh Hashanah very much and hope you did too!

  13. Posted on: 10-1-2011

    Wow those picture are beautiful! Those ruby jewels glistening on top of that cheesecake are irresistable. I have been photographing lots of pomegranates on trees recently and have just bought the first two of the season. This recipe really shows them off and makes them the star, I love it!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-2-2011

      Thanks Natalie! I love how you describe the pomegranate seeds as ruby jewels, so perfect!! Im looking forward to wonderful dishes you create with your pomegranates!

  14. Maya@Foodiva's Kitchen
    Posted on: 10-2-2011

    I’m glad you chose to feature pomegranate over apples because the red-colored seeds made the cake really pop out! My mom has a pomegranate tree too in her garden, but the fruits are unfortunately not as luscious as yours. As for the mascarpone and lemon cheesecake, there’s not much else to say about it except that it’s the perfect dessert!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-2-2011

      Thanks Maya! I am glad I chose pomegranates too! They were just so perfect with the creamy cheesecake. My pomegranates are not as luscious as the ones from the shuk which are in the photos on the top. BUT, they are still yummy!

  15. Posted on: 10-2-2011

    lovely pictures delicious looking cake beautiful

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-2-2011

      Thank you so much!

  16. Posted on: 10-2-2011

    This is one stunning pomegranate studded cheesecake!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-2-2011

      Thank you Ashley!

  17. Posted on: 10-2-2011

    This cheesecake looks incredible!! What a perfect way to celebrate the occasion!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-2-2011

      Thanks Stephanie! It was absolutely the most perfect way to celebrate!

  18. Posted on: 10-2-2011

    What a great recipe – I’m really looking forward to using the first pomegranates of the season soon, here in the UK they are just beginning to hit the markets!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-3-2011

      Thanks Ruth! I hope you enjoy pomegranate season!

  19. Posted on: 10-2-2011

    Not only is this absolutely beautiful, but I’m sure it’s absolutely tasty and perfect for the holiday =)

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-3-2011

      Thanks Peggy. Perfect for the holidays and pretty much anytime a cheesecake is in order!

  20. Posted on: 10-2-2011

    Absolutely gorgeous!! I love mascarpone in cheesecake & I’m a huge fan of pomegranates! I actually have a bottle of pomegranate molasses in the house, and this is a great way to use it! Beautiful photos as well 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-3-2011

      Thanks Meghan! Isnt pomegranate molasses the best? You should totally make this if you have a bottle sitting around. Its so worth it 🙂

  21. Posted on: 10-2-2011

    Stunning! Ive never seen pomegranate molasses but if i ever get my mitts on some then i hope to give this gorgeous sounding and equally beautiful thing a try 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-3-2011

      Thanks Sasha! If you cant find pomegranate molasses you can make your own. Its easy! Just boil down pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice!

  22. Posted on: 10-2-2011

    It’s utterly delicious! Looks fantastic and so impressive and I am sure it’s worth cooking it!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-3-2011

      It is soooo worth cooking it!

  23. Posted on: 10-2-2011

    Looks fantastic,the pomegranate is a lovely decoration on top!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-3-2011

      Thanks!!!

  24. Posted on: 10-2-2011

    This is so beautiful in color and presenation!! Awesome job beth, great use of pomegrantes in this desert too.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-3-2011

      Thanks Lindsey! I cannot think of a better combination then cheesecake and pomegranates!

  25. Posted on: 10-3-2011

    Beautiful looking cheesecake, and what a wonderful thing about the number of pomegranate seeds relating to the commandments 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-3-2011

      Thanks Paula! I never knew about the 613 pomegranate seeds relating to the commandments before until I started figuring out what to make for the holidays!

  26. Posted on: 10-3-2011

    I’m so glad your beautiful cheesecake made the Top 9! Congratulations!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-3-2011

      Thanks Liz!! I was super excited 🙂

  27. Posted on: 10-3-2011

    Beautiful photos! This cheesecake looks and sounds amazing, I’m not usually a cheesecake fan but I really wish I could take a bite right now! 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-3-2011

      Haha I think this could turn even the non cheesecake lovers into fans!

  28. Lawrence Siegfried
    Posted on: 10-3-2011

    Wow.. I’m a big fan of Cheese Cakes… This one LQQKS Amazing….. and I just made a batch of pomegranate molasses for a Salmon dish I make.. and now I have a use for the rest… :)…
    L’Shana Tova ….

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-3-2011

      Thanks Lawrence!! This would be perfect for your homemade molasses!

  29. Posted on: 10-3-2011

    This looks incredible! Fabulous post. Beautiful photos.
    xo
    http://allykayler.blogspot.com

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-3-2011

      Thanks Ally!!

  30. Posted on: 10-3-2011

    What a amazing Cheesecake. Delicious ingredients and beautiful photos. Congratulations on the top 9. Well deserved.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-3-2011

      Thanks Ana!! Getting in the top 9 was so exciting!!

  31. Posted on: 10-3-2011

    Congrats on Foodbuzz top 9!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-3-2011

      Thanks Christine!!!! Yay top 9!

  32. Posted on: 10-3-2011

    Wow, this is really beautiful and looks delicious!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-4-2011

      Thanks Mercedes!!!

  33. Posted on: 10-3-2011

    Thanks for the pictures showing the fruit as it grows

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-4-2011

      No problem! I thought it was so interesting!!

  34. Posted on: 10-4-2011

    Absolutely stunning! I’ve never had pomegranate with cheesecake, but now I must. This looks so tasty (and so pretty). I’m also quite hungry right now, so looking at this is particularly difficult!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-4-2011

      This was my first time pairing pomegranate and cheesecake and it works so well together!

  35. Posted on: 10-4-2011

    I love the colours (and tastes) in this. Just exquisite.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-4-2011

      Thanks so much Stephanie! The color of the pomegranate is really beautiful, isn’t it?

  36. Posted on: 10-4-2011

    Beth, you have very stunning cheese cake. Great tip to spread pomegranate on top as decoration.

  37. BethMichelle
    Posted on: 10-4-2011

    Thank you!! What’s great about sprinkling the top with pomegranates is not only does it make it beautiful but hides any imperfections there may be!!

  38. Posted on: 10-4-2011

    The cheesecake looks great! Would drizzling pomegranate molasses on top be a good idea?

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-5-2011

      Thanks Calvin! You can totally drizzle pomegranate molasses on top! I was thinking of doing that but ended up just going with the pomegranate seeds. Also, a lit of pomegranate molasses’ can be very tart so if you want a little sweeter taste you can add some sugar to it!

  39. Posted on: 10-5-2011

    This cheesecake is stunning! I love pomegranate. This is a must for dinner guests this fall. I can’t wait to try it!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-8-2011

      Thanks Laura! It is perfect for guests, such a hit! Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

  40. Posted on: 10-7-2011

    Incredible cheesecake! The pomegranate is such a nice twist.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-8-2011

      Thanks so much!!

  41. Posted on: 10-9-2011

    Hi Beth! I’m here to catch up on my reading! This was on Top 9, and sorry it’s late, but congrats!!! Such a beautiful cake and I can keep looking at the last photo forever…so pretty, dazzling…gorgeous, Beth!!!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-25-2011

      Thanks Nami! It was a wonderful surprise making it to the top 9!! This cheesecake is definitely deserving of it!

  42. Posted on: 10-11-2011

    This was outstanding. I will make it again and again.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-25-2011

      Thanks Ginny! I am so happy you liked it!

  43. Posted on: 10-11-2011

    Absolutely fabulous!!!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-25-2011

      Thanks Lola!

  44. Posted on: 10-13-2011

    OMG this is absolutely stunning. I am starting to salivate just looking at the pictures. The pomegranate really pops on top of the creamy cheesecake. Great job, I can’t wait to try it for myself.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-25-2011

      Thank you!! Looking at the photos makes me want to have more of it too!

  45. Posted on: 10-18-2011

    Simply stunning. I love mascarpone in cheesecakes!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-25-2011

      Thanks Greg. This was the first time I put mascarpone in a cheesecake and am now obsessed. It is such a great addition!

  46. Posted on: 10-20-2011

    Beth,
    This is a dream! Beautiful! Loving this so much. Your photography has also conituous improved significantly! Way to go!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 10-25-2011

      Thank you sooo much! I look back at when I started blogging and see how much better my photos have gotten over the months! Always learning!

  47. Michelle
    Posted on: 10-30-2011

    If you don’t have marscapone can you just add more cream
    Cheese?

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 12-16-2011

      You can make it without Mascarpone and add more cream cheese, however, if you can find some mascarpone cheese I highly recommend it since it gives the cake such an amazing texture!

  48. Posted on: 11-1-2011

    Beth, this cheesecake looks divine! The combination of white cheesecake and red pomegranate cheese is wonderful.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 12-16-2011

      Thanks so much Biana! I love how the red pops on top of the creamy white topping!

  49. Posted on: 12-16-2011

    Good morning, Beth Michelle!

    SO fun stopping by to visit with you! Wonderful blog filled with awesome posts. I have perused several and enjoyed each one 🙂 Nice to meet you!

    Kindly, Lorraine

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 12-17-2011

      Thanks for stopping by! Im glad you like the blog, makes me so happy!
      Hope you come again and visit soon!

  50. Posted on: 12-17-2011

    This seems so healthy yet delicious! I could eat marscapone all day long too. 😉

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 12-18-2011

      Mascarpone is the best and it just adds such a great balance to this cake!

  51. Posted on: 12-18-2011

    This is so beautiful. I am going to bookmark this post and make it during Christmas. What a beautiful presentation. yum!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 12-18-2011

      This would be a perfect Christmas dessert! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

  52. DylanZ
    Posted on: 2-28-2012

    Seriously the best thing I’ve ever eaten. Ever. I’ll make it until I run out of pomegranate molasses, and then buy ten more bottles. So fantastic.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-6-2012

      I am SO glad you loved it Dylan!! I have recently made it again using passion fruit since it is in season now and left out the pomegranate syrup and used lemon juice instead!!

  53. gugs
    Posted on: 5-23-2012

    Is this what you mean bylemon wafers? http://i0.goodness-direct.co.uk/d/513030b.jpg
    It doesnt seem like it but I am not sure what you used in the crust?

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-6-2012

      YES!! That is exactly what I used. I know it seems strange as a crust but it works so well!

  54. Kara
    Posted on: 6-3-2012

    Don’t know if you’ll still respond to comments on this post since it’s more than six months old, but I’m also wondering about the lemon wafers. . .of course I can just make it with a graham cracker or vanilla wafer crust, but the combination of lemon and cheesecake is one of my favorites, so I’d love to know what to use. Do you have a US brand in mind? Also, and I know it’s not your job to tweak your recipes to everyone’s needs, but I’m not a fan of pomegranate, I just really love mascarpone and this looks like an exceptional version of a mascarpone cheesecake. I’m usually really good at knowing what to substitute in recipes, but I’ve never even seen pomegranate molasses, so I have no idea what the consistency is, level of sweetness, etc., so I’d love to know what I could substitute for it. Is it actually the consistency of traditional molasses? If so, would honey be a good substitute? Or is it more the consistency of a simple syrup? I know that 4 Tbsp is a pretty small amount–would upping the sugar by a couple Tbsp suffice? Thank you! Glad to find you. . .your ricotta buttermilk ice cream is what lured me in and I have it bookmarked!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-6-2012

      Hi Kara. I used lemon wafers like these: http://i0.goodness-direct.co.uk/d/513030b.jpg but if you cant find them you can make a regular graham cracker crust. Though I highly recommend using the wafers, they give such an amazing taste! If you dont like pomegranate or its not in season or whatever the case is, you can just leave it out! This cake is amazing without the pom syrup too. I recently made it again and left out the syrup and just used some lemon juice and then topped the cheesecake with fresh passion fruit! What the pomegranate syrup does is add an element of tartness to the cake so leaving it out completely is totally fine and wont change the consistency or how the cake cooks at all. Please let me know if you have any other questions!!!

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