Mini German Lebkuchen Cheesecakes with Apricot Compote

Mini Lebkuchen Cheesecakes
These festive little bites are much lighter in texture than most American cheesecakes are. If you'd like, for a creamier texture you can substitute 2 pounds quark for the ricotta and sour cream the recipe the recipe calls for -- quark is a German-style yogurt cheese.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds whole-milk ricotta
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel orange part only
  • 4 eggs
  • 12 round German Lebkuchen 3 inches diameter

For the apricot compote:

  • 1 16-ounce jar German apricot preserves
  • 1/4-1/2 cup German apple juice or German brandy

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper muffin liners.
  • Beat together ricotta, sour cream, whipping cream and sugar. Slit vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out seeds; add seeds and orange zest to ricotta mixture. Beat in eggs 1 at a time.
  • Divide mixture among prepared muffin liners. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the cakes comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes. Cool on a rack, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour before removing paper liners. Invert each cheesecake on a gingerbread cookie, and top with warm apricot compote.

For the Apricot compote:

  • Heat 1 16-ounce jar German apricot preserves in a small saucepan. Stir in 1/4 to 1/2 cup German apple juice or German brandy to thin. Bring to a simmer and serve.

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