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Coconut-Sweet Potato Cheesecake


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  • 4 cups cubed (1/3") peeled red-skinned
  • sweet potatoes (yams)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons golden brown sugar - (packed)
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely-grated orange peel - (packed)
  • 1 teaspoon finely-grated lemon peel - (packed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • Powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 2 1/2 packages cream cheese - (8-oz pkgs) room temperature
  • 3/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 can sweetened cream of coconut* - (15 oz) (such as Coco López)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely-grated lemon peel - (packed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • Additional sweetened flaked coconut toasted


Servings 10


Step 1

* Available in the liquor section of most supermarkets.

For Sweet Potatoes: Combine first 13 ingredients in large saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered until potatoes are very tender and most of liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Transfer mixture to processor; puree until smooth. Whisk egg and cream in medium bowl to blend. Add 2 1/3 cups sweet potato puree and whisk to blend well. Cover and chill sweet potato mixture until cold.

For Crumb Coating: Butter 10-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 1/2- to 2 3/4-inch-high sides; dust with powdered sugar. Mix graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in medium bowl until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press crumb mixture evenly over bottom and up sides of pan (coating will be thin). Chill 30 minutes. (Sweet potato mixture and crumb coating can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover; chill separately.)

For Filling: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, ricotta cheese, and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Add cream of coconut, lemon juice, lemon peel, and vanilla; beat until smooth. Fold in 1 cup flaked coconut and sweet potato mixture. Pour filling into prepared pan.

Place pan on rimmed baking sheet and bake cake until filling is just set in center, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Transfer cheesecake directly to refrigerator and chill uncovered overnight (center may sink). (Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.)

Run small knife between cake and pan sides to loosen cake; remove sides. Place cake on platter. Sprinkle toasted unsweetened coconut over top edge of cheesecake. Serve chilled.

This recipe yields 10 servings.

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