gbsteve (gbsteve) wrote,


Pine nuts are my favourite thing at the moment. It began when Pret A Manger started putting them in some of their sandwiches, then it was intensified by pine nut brittle and a pine nut and caramel cheese cake I had in New Mexico and now I just can't get enough of the toasty little maggots.

Apparently you can make a kind of coffee with them, which I might try but at the moment I'm more interested in giving this a go:

Pine Nut Brittle Cheesecake
3/4 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, at room temperature
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
3 tablespoons amaretto or lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sour cream
Lemon crust (recipe follows)

In a 10- to 1 2-inch frying pan, toast nuts over low heat, shaking pan often, until nuts are light gold, about 12 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Add 1/4 cup sugar to pan; shake pan often over medium-high heat until sugar liquefies and turns golden, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in nuts, then immediately pour onto a buttered sheet of foil. With a buttered spoon, press mixture to flatten slightly. Let cool, then break into about 1/2-inch chunks. If made ahead, store airtight up to 3 days.

In a bowl, beat until smooth cream cheese, remaining sugar, and eggs. Add lemon peel, amaretto, vanilla, and sour cream; beat until smooth. Pour half the mixture into crust and sprinkle evenly with 1/2 of the brittle (store remainder). Spoon remaining cheese mixture over brittle. Bake in a 325F oven until center of cake jiggles only slightly when gently shaken, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool. If made ahead, cover and chill up to 2 days.

Up to 30 minutes before serving, remove pan sides; set cake on a platter. Pile remaining nut brittle in center of cake. Makes 16 to 20 servings.

Per serving : 296 cal ; 6.2 g protein; 22 g carbo. ; 22 g fat, 104 mg chol.; 150 mg sodium.

Lemon crust. In a food processor or blender, combine 32 vanilla wafers (2-in. size, broken into chunks) and 1/4 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds; whirl until mixture forms fine crumbs. Pour into a bowl. Add 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel and 3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine. Press mixture evenly over bottom and about 1 inch up sides of a 9-inch cheesecake pan with removable bottom.

I wonder what one might cook with pine nut flour?

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