Warming and comforting dishes aren't always about roasts and casseroles. With winter spices and creamy fresh cheese, even desserts can be comforting, like this Sugarplum ricotta cheesecake, made by chef Kendall Collingridge of Founder Restaurant and Cocktail Bar.
Preheat oven to 325°F.
In a large bowl, mix together cookie crumbs and butter then press into a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to set.
Meanwhile, add ricotta, sour cream, sugar, egg yolks, flour and lemon zest into a food processor. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as required. In another large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff and then tip in the cheese mixture. Fold together, but don’t over mix.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean and the middle barely quivers. Remove from oven and immediately run a long sharp knife all around the inside edge of pan.
Set on rack to cool then cover and refrigerate for 6 hours, or overnight.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine all ingredients and bring to a simmer until sugar is dissolved, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the plums, reduce heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes until tender. Remove plums, and strain remaining syrup into a small saucepan. Reheat syrup until reduced by half then return plums to the pot to keep warm until ready to serve.
Spoon poached plums over the cake. Just before serving, sprinkle sugar evenly over surface of cheesecake. Using a mini torch, heat until sugar melts and caramelizes. Serve immediately with reserved spiced plum syrup.