Every December, we have a progressive dinner with my family. We always start at my sister's house. She makes delicious appetizers. We make our way over the river to my sister-in-law's next. She is the expert salad maker. Then it's through the woods to my mom's for delicious lasagne and garlic bread. And we always end up at my place for dessert.
Here is one of our offerings for this year's festivities.
Egg Nog Cheesecake with Candied Kumquats
adapted from Better Homes & Gardens
5 T melted butter, divided
1 1/4 cups Grape Nuts cereal
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 t cinnamon
Dash of kosher salt
24 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup eggnog
1 T vanilla extract
1 T (scant) rum extract
12 oz fresh kumquats (about 45), stems removed
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
Heat oven to 375. Butter a 9 or 10 inch spring-form pan with 1 T of the melted butter; set aside.
In bowl of food processor, process cereal for about 2 minutes, until a fine crumb forms. Add the 1/3 cup sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Process to combine. With processor running, add remaining butter through feed tube and process until just combined. Press crumb mixure on bottom and 1 inch up sides of prepared pan. Bake 10-12 minutes or until crisp and lightly browned. Cool on wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 350.
In clean food processor bowl, process cream cheese until smooth (you can do this in a mixer as well). Add 1 cup sugar until combined. Add eggs; process until creamy, scraping down sides once or twice. Add eggnog, vanilla and rum extract; process until combined.
Gently pour filling into baked crust. Bake 45 minutes to one hour, or until sides are slightly puffed and starting to brown. Turn off oven and leave the door ajar. Let cheesecake stand in oven 1 hour.
Transfer to wire rack; cool 15 minutes. Using a small, thin knife, loosen crust from sides of pan. Cool another 30 minutes. Remove sides from pan. Cool one hour. Cover and refrigerate 6 hours to overnight. To serve, top with candied kumquats. Makes 12 servings.
With a paring knife, piercing only the skin, cut four evenly spaced slits around each kumquat. Place in medium saucepan; add cold water to cover. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook five minutes. Drain in colander.
In a medium saucepan, dissolve 1 1/2 cups sugar in 3/4 cup water. Add kumquats. Bring t a simmer over medium heat. Reduce to low to barely simmer. Cook, uncovered, 30 minutes, until glazed. Remove fruit from syrup wit a slotted spoon. Place on wire rack over tin foil. Cool 10 minutes.
Place the remaining 1 cup sugar in a small bowl. Roll whole kumquats in sugar. Space on rack and let stand overnight. Store in airtight container in a cool, dry place up to 3 months. Slice before topping cheesecake.