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FRESH and Festive: White Chocolate Cheese Tart

It’s not a holiday party without dessert. But if you don’t want to contribute yet another  pecan pie or pumpkin cake to the holiday menu, here is a nice alternative that’s both easy and elegant.

This one, adapted from a 1993 cookbook called Chocolate Cakes, is easy to personalize. I have sometimes skipped the chocolate drizzle and instead garnished this with a bit of sweetened whipped cream and fresh raspberries. You could also add candied or roasted nuts. Or, omit the chocolate drizzle but make a rich chocolate ganache and pour a bit on each slice as you serve it.

White Chocolate Cheese Tart
1 prepared, unbaked pie crust (I prefer graham crackers but a regular pastry shell will do in a pinch)
8 oz good-quality white chocolate, chopped
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
2 Tbs sugar (extra-fine if you have it)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup heavy cream
4 oz dark chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 325° F.

In the microwave, melt white chocolate; set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add sugar and beat again. Then, slowly add the melted white chocolate, mixing until well-combined.

Add eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Finally, add cream slowly, beating until smooth and well-combined.

Pour the white chocolate-cheese mixture into pie crust. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until center is set. Do not overbake; if cracks begin to develop at the edge, or it begins to pull away from the pan, remove immediately. Let cool for 30 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator and let cool completely.

In the microwave, melt dark chocolate. Using a small spoon, drizzle chocolate in abstract pattern over the chilled pie. Serve.