HomeRecipesHarvest Delight by Sarah Craichy

Harvest Delight by Sarah Craichy

(This recipe appeared in the Fall 2022 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)

I wanted to challenge myself a little bit with this dessert and since I’ve personally never worked (nor tried) figs before, I knew I wanted to implement it somehow into the recipe. To keep with the fall theme, I paired it with sweet potato, honey cheesecake and gave it a little twist in the end with the pistachios. I’m happy with how the flavors ended up complementing each other and am excited for you to give it a try!

Yield: 12 servings

Fig Compote

  • 250 g black figs
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 10 g lemon juice
  • 1 vanilla bean
  1. Quarter figs and toss all ingredients into a saucepan. Cook on low heat, stirring continuously until done, about 20 minutes. If you’d like a smoother paste, blend in a food processor until smooth.

Roasted Sweet Potato

  • 1 sweet potato
  1. Preheat oven to 425˚F (218˚C). Wash and poke holes into the sweet potato. Roast on a baking sheet for 45 minutes, or until tender. To check readiness, poke with a knife and make sure it is soft throughout. Let cool.

Sweet Potato Fig Sponge

  • 100 g all-purpose flour
  • 2.3 g baking powder
  • 2 g baking soda
  • 3 g ground cinnamon
  • 1 g grated nutmeg
  • 1.5 g salt
  • 150 g whole eggs
  • 180 g granulated sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans, split and seeds scraped
  • 100 g Fig Compote (from above)
  • 110 g Roasted Sweet Potato (from above)
  • Chopped Pistachios
  1. Lower oven temperature to 375˚F (190˚C). Line two 9ʺ square pans with oil and parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together; set aside.
  1. In a stand mixer, whisk eggs and granulated sugar for about 2 minutes on high speed until thick and foamy. Switch to a paddle attachment and add the vanilla, Fig Compote and Roasted Sweet Potato until just combined. Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined.
  1. Spread 2/3 of the batter evenly in one of the prepared pans. In the second pan (which will be used as decoration for the assembly) spread the rest of the batter evenly. Sprinkle the top of each pan with the chopped pistachio nuts. Bake for 13 minutes, until the top of the sponge springs back when touched. Let cool completely. It’s okay to under-bake the sponge just a tad since you will be baking it again with the cheesecake batter on top.

Pistachio paste

  • 200g Roasted Pistachios
  • 30g Powdered Sugar
  • 10g Honey
  1. In a food processor, blend pistachio nuts, honey and sugar until a paste forms. Set aside.

Marbled Honey Pistachio Cheesecake:

  • 230g Sugar
  • 450g Cream Cheese
  • 85g Heavy Cream
  • 11g Pastry Flour
  • 2.5g Salt
  • 1 ea Vanilla Bean
  • 100g Eggs
  • 50g Honey
  • 200g Pistachio Paste (from above)

1.In a kitchen aid with a paddle attachment, combine sugar, cream cheese, heavy cream, vanilla and honey until smooth. Add eggs and slowly incorporate flour and salt until just combined.

2.Pour 600g of the cheesecake batter on top of the first 9×9 pan with the sweet potato cake already baked and cooled. Set aside.

3.Paddle the pistachio paste with the remaining cheesecake batter until smooth. Marble 2/3 of the pistachio cheesecake batter into the layer of plain cheesecake making sure to leave a little of the batter left over for decoration. Pour the rest of the pistachio batter into an oiled pan and bake alongside the cheesecake at 230F for about 25 mins or until done. Cool cheesecake and freeze completely. Slightly paddle the leftover baked pistachio cheesecake and place in a pastry bag with a round piping tip #804 for the plating. Set aside.

Spiced Honey Chantilly

  • 3g Cinnamon
  • 30g Honey
  • 300g Heavy Cream
  1. In a kitchen aid, whip cream, honey and cinnamon until medium-stiff peaks form.
  1. Place in a piping bag with an #866 French Star tip to use for plating.

Fig Diplomat

  • 100g Fig Compote (See recipe)
  • 500g Milk
  • 126g Sugar
  • 90g Yolks
  • 40g Cornstarch
  • 50g Butter
  • 150g Heavy Cream, whipped to medium-stiff peak
  1. In a bowl mix cornstarch, yolks and a splash of the cold milk until combined with no more clumps. In a pot, combine milk, sugar and vanilla bean and bring to a simmer. Temper some of the warm milk into the bowl with the eggs and whisk vigorously. Add eggs back into the pan with the simmering milk constantly whisking and bring back to a boil and quickly take it off the heat. Quickly pour custard into a kitchen aid bowl with the paddle attachment, add butter and fig compote and paddle until cool.
  1. Fold in whipped cream. Place diplomat in a piping bag with #866 French star tip for plating. Set aside.


  • Gold Flakes
  • Black Figs(quartered)
  • Roasted Pistachios
  1. Cut the cheesecake while it’s still frozen (better for a clean cut) in 1.5ʺ by 4.5ʺ rectangles. Alternate piping kisses along the bar with the Chantilly, Diplomat and Pistachio Cream. Decorate with quartered figs, pistachios and gold flakes.
  1. Cut the extra sheet of sweet potato sponge into rectangles slightly smaller than the cheesecake bar and gently place diagonally on top of the kisses. If you’d like to plate individually, I’d recommend doing a swipe of the fig diplomat on the plate, place the cake on the swipe at an angle and give a kiss or two of the pistachio cream in the corner. Finish with a quartered fig, pistachios and gold flakes.

About Sarah Craichy

Sarah Craichy is the Pastry Chef de Partie of Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa in Manalapan, Florida. Her signature style uses classic foundations but in a modern way. She is always looking to push the boundaries of her training to come up with new ideas and flavors for her desserts.

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