Clementine Mousse Cheesecake

So this cheesecake seems complicated and full of too many steps.  It really isn’t, I swear.  If you break it down into steps to complete across a couple of days, it’s totally a manageable dessert.  Or if you have a whole afternoon to dedicate, you could do it in one day as well.  I’ll describe the steps how I did them, across 3 days.

Day 1: Clementine Curd

you will need:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2/3 cup fresh clementine juice (10-12 clementines)
1 teaspoon grated clementine zest

Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl for about 2 minutes or until light, pale, and fluffy.  Turn the mixer down to low, and slowly add in eggs and yolks.  Beat for 1 minute before mixing in the clementine juice.

Pour mixture into a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for about 20-25 minutes, until noticeably thicker and it registers at least 170° on a candy thermometer.  Don’t let the mixture boil.  A sign that it’s done: coats the back of a wooden spoon and a trail is left when you run your finger down it.

Remove curd from the heat and stir in the clementine zest. Transfer the mixture to a wide bowl and place a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to prevent a film from developing. Place the curd in the refrigerate to chill it. Cover it tightly and keep if you about a week in the fridge or for about 2 months in the freezer.

Day 2: Cheesecake

you will need:
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
34 Golden Oreos, processed to fine crumbs (or other generic type of cookie like this – Trader Joe’s has a good one)
6 tablespoons butter

Preheat the oven to 350°. Combine the cookie crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl. Toss with a fork to moisten all of the crumbs. Using a flat-sided glass, press into an even layer covering the bottom and sides of your cheesecake pan, making it as tall as possible and about ¼ inch thick. Bake the crust for about 6 minutes and let it cool as you make your cheesecake filling.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until well blended. Beat in the flour. Add in the vanilla and beat until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition. Pour the filling into your crust.

Bake until the top is lightly browned, puffed and cracked at the edges, and the center moves only very slightly when the pan is lightly shaken, about 45 to 50 minutes. Check while baking periodically.  If its browning on top too much put a layer of foil on top to shield it.  When you pull the cheesecake out, you can use a sharp knife to score a circle around the top of the cheesecake about an inch inside the crust so that as it cools the crust won’t pull in as much.  It doesn’t really matter how it looks, as you will be topping it with the clementine mousse later!  Let cheesecake cool to room temperature, about 1½ hours, before chilling it in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

Day 3: Clementine Mousse, Candied Clementines & Assembly

for the clementine mousse, you will need:
1¼ cups clementine curd
2½ tablespoons cold water
1 envelope (2¼ teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream

Pour 3 tablespoons water into small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the water and let it stand to soften for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place 1 cup of the clementine curd in large bowl. Stir the remaining ¼ cup curd in another small saucepan over medium-low heat until very warm.

Stir the gelatin mixture that has been softening and place the saucepan over medium-low heat.  Whisk occasionally until the gelatin is dissolved and the liquid is clear, but do not let it boil. Whisk the warm gelatin mixture into the ¼ cup of warm curd. Gradually whisk this gelatin-curd mixture into the curd in the large bowl. Let cool slightly.

Using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream to stiff peaks. Fold the cream into the curd mixture gently.

for the candied clementines, you will need:
3 clementines with firm (not loose) skin, well washed and dried
4 cups water
2 cup sugar

Cut each clementine into 6 horizontal slices. Remove any seeds carefully. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and place a cooling rack over a baking sheet on the center rack. Prepare a plate of sugar and set it aside.

Heat the sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Place the slices in in a single layer and gently simmer them for 50 minutes, turning them once. The white bits should begin to get transparent. Pull them out of the syrup with tongs and place them on the cooling rack to dry for about 1 hour, until they’re no longer sticky to the touch. Gently dredge them through the plate of sugar, shaking off excess, to coat any sticky portions. Cool completely.  Store in an airtight container

To assemble:
Pour the mousse over the cheesecake and smooth with a spatula.  Cover and chill for about 30 minutes.  Top the cake with candied clementines and serve with fresh whipped cream.
 Prepare to be wowed…it’s amazing how light and airy this cheesecake is.  It’s really fabulous.  I’d like to try it with other citrus flavors, and maybe even do mini versions!

serves: 10-12
time: several hours, but easily spread over 3 days
from: Willow Bird Baking 

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One Comment

  1. Posted May 10, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    It came out just beautiful!! I’m so glad you tackled it and SO glad you loved it!

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