1 vanilla-wafer crust (recipe below)
2 bars (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup pure maple syrup ( I used more than this, especially for the pears)
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar ( I added 3 Tbsp)
1 tsp maple extract (optional)
Nonstick cooking spray
2 medium pears (Bosc work great), sliced at 1/8 " thin (use a very sharp knife)
Make pie crust according to directions below- bake and allow to cool before you pour the filling in.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on high until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup maple syrup; beat until smooth. In a medium bowl, beat cream and sugar on high until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. With a rubber spatula, stir about one-third the whipped cream into cream cheese mixture, then fold in remainder. Transfer to crust and refrigerate until firm, 3 hours (or up to 1 day).
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange pear slices in a single layer on sheet and brush with 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Roast until pears are soft, 20 minutes. Remove from oven and heat broiler. Brush pears with 2 tablespoons maple syrup and broil until browned in spots, about 4 minutes, rotating sheet frequently (Kate note: be very vigilant in not allowing the pears to burn- my broiler was hyper and about did my pears in, so, heads up!)
Let cool. To serve, arrange pear slices, overlapping slightly, on cheesecake.
6 ounces vanilla-wafer cookies ( about 46 cookies)
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, pulse cookies until finely ground (you should have about 1 1/2 cups). Add sugar, salt, and butter and pulse until combined.
Firmly press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate. (If using a springform pan, press crumbs halfway up sides.) Bake until crust is dry and set, about 12 minutes. Let cool completely in plate on a wire rack before filling