Experience pure sophistication with this pistachio cheesecake. This exquisite dessert effortlessly combines the rich, creamy texture of cheesecake with the luxurious favor of pistachios. Perfect for those special ocasions when you crave a classy and elegant treat, this recipe (based on my Passion fruit cheesecake) promises to elevate your dessert game to a whole new level. Get ready to savor every decadent bite of this refined cheesecake.
This baked pistachio cheesecake makes a delicious and elegant dessert. It has a chocolate biscuit crust, a creamy pistachio cheesecake filling, and it is topped with torched meringue, raspberries and whole pistachios.
For the pistachio butter
For the crust
Chocolate biscuit crumbs crust
For the filling
Pistachio and cream cheese filling
For the swiss meringue
- Cheesecakes are better prepared the day before. They need a minimum of 6 hours chilling in the fridge.
- Day one: Prepare the crust, the filling and bake the cheesecake.
- Day two: Prepare the meringue and decorate the cake. (Meringue is best prepared at the last minute.)
For the pistachio butter
- Nut butters should be prepared in heavy duty food processors. If you don't own one, please use store bought pistachio butter.
- I do not roast pistachios, as they burn very easily and I prefer to keep their vibrant color.
- Pulse peeled raw pistachios until finely chopped, about 30 seconds. Add oil and process until nuts form a smooth, thick paste, pausing every minute or so to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The whole process could take about 10 minutes.
- If you want, add a pinch of salt at the end of the process and blend again.
For the crust
- Prepare a 7 by 2.35 inches (18 by 6 cm) round cake ring. (I use an adjustable one.) Put it on a bigger low tart pan lined with parchment paper.
- Cut the butter in small cubes, put them in a small bowl and heat them for 10 seconds in the microwave oven. The butter should only be very soft, not melted. Cream it with a spatula.
- Process the biscuits. Pulse them in a food processor or blender until finely ground. If you don't own a blender, crush them up in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin. Put in a large bowl, and stir in the softened butter with a fork. Add the dark rum and stir again. When combined, it should look like course, damp sand. (I like the crumbs to be only wet enough to hold together, without getting too greasy and soggy.)
- Pour about 2/3 of the biscuit crumbs into the ring. Press them to the sides using your fingers or the back of a spoon until they form a nice even layer. Add the rest of the crumbs to the center and press them to form the base of the cake. Make sure the crust is firmly packed. (This video by Oleksandr Trofimenkov is the perfect example of how to line a cake ring with a cookie crumb crust.)
- Carefully place the pan in the fridge. In the meanwhile prepare the filling.
For the filling
- Preheat oven to 350 °F (175 °C).
- Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the cream cheese and Mascarpone on low speed until smooth and creamy. Don't over-beat or you'll incorporate too much air.
- Add sugar and beat again until creamy. Using a spatula scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add the pistachio butter and mix until incorporated.
- Gradually add the eggs on low speed, one at a time, mixing just until each egg is just incorporated. Once all eggs have been added, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl again and make sure all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
- Combine the cornstarch and chlorella matcha in a small bowl, add the milk and mix well. Then add it to the batter. Beat for a few seconds until incorporated.
- Add the cream and the lime zest. Mix but don't over-beat. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula again so that all ingredients are well combined.
- Pour the cheesecake batter into the cooled crust. The batter should reach about the height of the crust.
- Transfer the cheesecake to the center rack of your oven. Bake it on 350 °F (175 °C) for 15 minutes, adjust the temperature to 250 °F (120 °C) and bake for an additional 75-90 minutes until the outside is firm but the center still jiggles a bit. Don't overbake it, or it will not be so creamy. And don't open the oven door until the end of the baking time!
- Crack open the door and leave the cheesecake inside for at least 1 hour (the more, the better!).
- Take out of the oven and let cool down completely on a wire rack. Place in the fridge and let cool for at least 5-6 hours or overnight. It needs to set before unmolding.
For the swiss meringue
- Fill a pot with about 2 inches of water. Place over high heat until steaming-hot, then adjust temperature to maintain a gentle simmer.
- Combine the egg whites and sugar in a bowl. Set over steaming water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir and scrap constantly with a spatula, until egg whites mark at least 150 °F (65 °C) and the mixture no longer feels gritty when rubbed between your fingers, about 4 minutes.
- Transfer to the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip at middle-high speed for 4 minutes and at high speed for 4 more minutes until meringue is glossy and flows slightly. Use immediately.
- Unmold the cheesecake.
- Carefully transfer the cake to the serving plate. Run a knife between the inside edges of the ring and the cake crust. Take out the ring.
- If there is condensation on the cheescake surface, dry it with a kitchen paper towel.
- With a 4 inch cookie cutter, mark a circle on the center of the cheesecake. Decorate it with the piping tip of your choice. (I used two tips: a "Saint Honoré" and an open star decoration tip [Wilton 4B or 6B].) Torch using a blow torch.
- Top the meringue with raspberries and pistachios.
My tips for a perfect cheesecake
The best crust
- Cheesecake crusts tend to attract humidity and get soggy, that's a fact. There are a few tricks to keep them the most crisp possible:
- Avoid adding to much butter to the biscuit crumbs. If when pressing the crumbs between your fingers they do not hold, add a little additional melted butter at a time.
- Blind bake the cake crust for 10 minutes, carefully brush it with slightly beaten egg white and bake it for 2 additional minutes. Allow it to cool completely before filling it with the cream cheese mixture. You'll have to take care of not pulling the crumbs with your brush.
- Most of the biscuit crumb crusts for cheesecakes call for some additional granulated sugar. When caramelized, it helps held the crumbs together. I am not a big fan of added sugar in this kind of crusts: it gives them a grainy texture and they feel overly sweet to my taste. However feel free to mix a tablespoon of the sugar of your choice with the biscuit crumbs before you add the melted butter.
The perfect filling
- The are a few secrets to a perfect filling:
- Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature.
- Beat the cream cheese and Mascarpone alone until there are no lumps and they look smooth and creamy.
- Beat at low speed all the time. Do not incorporate too much air while combining the ingredients. If too much air is beaten into the mixture, the cheesecake will puff during baking, then collapse and split when cooled.
- Stop the mixer occasionally and scrape the batter down from the sides of the bowl.
- Bake the cake slowly. Let it cool down slowly. Let it rest in the fridge overnight before unmolding.
To waterbath or not to waterbath
- There's definitely no need. It is annoying, a mess and not very sustainable (because you need lots of aluminium foil to avoid water entering the mold). To prevent the cake from cracking you only need to avoid very high baking temperatures and thermal shocks (abrupt temperature changes):
- Begin baking the cake at 350 °F (175 °C) for 15 minutes and then adjust the oven to 250 °F (120 °C), a much milder temperature, and continue baking for 75-90 minutes.
- Don't open the oven door while baking the cake. Only do so at the end to check doneness.
- Once done (relatively firm on the outside and jiggly in the center), let the cake cool down in the oven for at least 1 hour and then take out and let cool on a wire rack before placing into the fridge.