Juanita, her roommate and I put together dinner parties occasionally, where we tried new recipes and trotted out our specialties, like my Tomato Basil Tart in a Bacon Crust, for instance, or my off-the-chain Gianduja Torte.
Juanita talked for months about her pear cheesecake. I hope she will forgive me for being blunt, but she wouldn't shut up about it. You've never had anything like it, she said. It's the best thing you've ever eaten.
That big talk was utterly justified when she debuted the pear cheesecake to one of our gatherings. Light texture, almond-scented filling, no crust to speak of — it really is a cheesecake, not a cream-cheese pie. It's topped with sliced poached pears on top, held in place by a glaze made from pureed fresh strawberries. It brought down the house, and I remember it with passionate fondness, all these years later.
So how happy was I that the pear cheesecake was on the buffet at Dulce Dessert's holiday open house last week. HOW HAPPY WAS I? Too, too happy.
Dulce is featuring pear cheesecake on its holiday dessert menu. To quote Juanita, "the best thing you ever ate" could be gracing your very own table, your coffee-and-dessert buffet, Champagne-and-dessert New Year's Eve thing, or as lighter dessert after the ham and turkey feast.
Go here to download the holiday menu. Dulce Desserts is at 207 Villa Place in Edgehill Village (321-8700).