Ugh…I was only supposed to put egg YOLKS in this recipe not the whole egg…this batter needs to be re-done. But I don’t have enough butter. Back to the store so I need clothes suitable for civilized society and my baking sweatpants covered in flour and my lack of a bra are not gonna cut it. I’ve got flour in my hair but they’re just going to have to deal. Batter now successfully made, and I need to walk Wally before he tears the door off is crate and upsets mama’s cats. And now he’s accidentally tripped me into a table and I’v got a gash the size of texas on my arm right before a party. I will not spray something painful on my arm right now so neosporin it is. Wally is walked and running rampant to escape being re-crated before everyone arrives. In a last ditch effort to catch him between setting up chip and dip bowls, I somehow manage to cover my dress in the neosporin that I put on my arm but forgot to cover with a bandage. Dress cannot be salvaged. New dress it is, but this one is strapless and slightly to big. My bra is a convertible one, but one of the straps is stuck and will not come loose. So this bra won’t work. Luckily I have another one I can wear so I don’t have to shred this dress into a million pieces out of sheer irritation. But the dress is still too big. And the seam is to big to pin closed. I find this out by successfully slipping and stabbing myself in the side with the needle. And there’s the knock at the door with the first guest arriving.
It was one of those days. And unfortunately. The shoot that happened in the midst of all that was just as frustrating. Oh…and those were really only the highlights. Sometimes, even when you’re totally prepared, everything goes wrong and you just need to go to bed and try again tomorrow. I was thrilled going into this project, because Martha Stewart recipes are always so delicious and cheesecake is my favorite dessert on. the. planet. Plus I always learn so much when I make a Martha recipe. I knew I wanted the feel to be a little moody and maybe I jinxed myself with my whole plan, as it ended with ME being moody. My light wasn’t doing what I wanted it to, my reflectors weren’t reflecting solidly enough, my highlights were too bright and my shadows were too deep. My pears wouldn’t stand they way I wanted them and I wasn’t satisfied with any prop placement. And yet I continued to work. In my anger and frustration and annoyance I worked. And then I decided I had had enough and that whatever I got would have to be it and that I would make this again and try again on another day…a better day.
But sometimes things aren’t as bleak as they seem. I think my moodiness blinded me a bit to what I was actually creating, because when I went back to see what awful images I had come up with, I realized that they weren’t as awful as I thought. In fact….I liked them…a lot. Even love them. Maybe it was because I wasn’t so moody when I reviewed them. Who knows. It just goes to show that sometimes something that feels like a total failure, can turn out to be a wonderfully surprising success. Just keep swimming. And it always helps to have maple cheesecake to eat while you edit.
Maple Cheesecake with Roasted Pears
Adapted from www.Martha Stewart.com
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/6 cup brown sugar (fill up half of your 1/3 measuring cup)
1/6 cup granulated sugar (fill up half of your 1/3 measuring cup)
16 oz cream cheese (2 8oz bars)
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
2 Bartlett pears sliced to 1/8 inch thick.
In a medium bowl, stir together all crust ingredients. Using a silicone spatula or the bottom of a glass or measuring cup, press the crust mixture tightly down into the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ springform pan. The crust mixture will make it about half way up the sides of the pan when tightly packed down.
Place crust in the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours.
Bring cream cheese to room temperature, beat on high in a large bowl. When cream cheese is light and fluffy (about 3 minutes), add 1/2 cup maple syrup. Beat cream cheese and maple syrup on high until smooth and fully combined. In a medium bowl add heavy cream and sugar. Beat on high for 3 minutes until soft peaks form and the cream holds it’s shape. Slowly add the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture, folding in gently with a silicone spatula as you go. Pour into the crust and smooth out evenly. Chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours or more.
If your pears are not already sliced, slice them now. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Place the pear slices in a single layer on the baking sheet and coat them with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Roast the pears in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the pears are soft. Brush the pears with 2 more tablespoons of maple syrup and place them under the broiler for 3 minutes. Rotate your pan after each minute to brown evenly. Pears are done when spots are caramelizing and browning. Let the pears cool and then break off any crusted maple syrup attached to the edges. Arrange the pears on top of the cheesecake and serve.