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Cheesecake With Guava (Pay De Queso Con Ate De Guayaba)

Cheesecake With Guava (Pay De Queso Con Ate De Guayaba)
Patricia Jinich for NPR

In Mexico, a favorite dessert is to pair sweet slices of guava or other fruit pastes called ates with savory slices of cheese. Cheesecake with guava paste is a modern take on this combination. We tried it for the first time in the Museo del Dulce — the sweets museum — in Morelia. My adaptation has a thinner layer of guava paste than the museum's, and it is placed between the crunchy bottom and the smooth cream cheese batter, rather than on top. Also, the sweetened sour cream topping reflects a craving of mine, but it seems to make the combination even more irresistible. You can use this recipe as a guideline and see if you want to take the cheesecake in other directions: more guava, less guava, more sour cream or no sour cream.

Makes 10 to 12 servings


1 1/2 cups Maria cookies* (6 ounces ground), or vanilla wafers or graham crackers

1 teaspoon sugar

3 ounces butter, or 3/4 stick, melted

In a big bowl, stir the ground cookies, sugar and melted butter until thoroughly mixed. Butter a 9- to 10-inch springform pan. Turn the cookie mixture into the pan. With your fingers or a small spatula, spread it evenly along the pan. Press gently, making a side rim of 1/2 to 1 inch on the sides. Refrigerate while you make the guava spread, cheese filling and sour cream topping.

*Maria cookies, similar to graham crackers, are available in most supermarkets.

Guava Spread

11 ounces guava paste or ate de guayaba

5 tablespoons water

Place guava paste and water in the blender jar or food processor. Process until smooth, and reserve.

Cheese Filling

1 pound cream cheese

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large eggs

1/4 cup heavy cream

Place the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer, and beat at medium speed until smooth and foamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla, and continue beating until well mixed. Add eggs, one at a time. You may need to stop the mixer to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, as the batter may stick to it. Add the heavy cream, and beat until the mixture is all incorporated and smooth. Reserve.

Sour Cream Topping

1 1/2 cups sour cream

1/4 cup sugar

In a bowl, mix the sour cream and the sugar together.


Adjust rack of the oven one-third up from the bottom and preheat to 350 degrees.

Remove the pan with the crust from the refrigerator. With a spatula, spread the guava mixture evenly over the crust. Turn out the cheese filling onto the guava layer, and spread gently and evenly.

Place the cheesecake in the oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until it is cooked and has a lightly tanned top. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Then spoon the sweetened sour cream over the cheese filling and place it back in the oven for 10 more minutes.

Remove from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. It tastes even better if it chills overnight.

Before serving, release the sides of the springform pan. Place the cheesecake onto a plate (keeping it on the bottom of the pan), slice and serve.

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