Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Who wants dessert?

I was looking over my past posts, and noticed that those about food tended to have the most comments??? Hmm, I guess it's a common denominator that everyone can relate to :-)

So, in that vein, and because it was requested last night at our end-of-the-year 121 party, held at John Groth's amazing glass studio, here's "The Cheesecake".

I do have to give some credit to
Epicurious, because that's where we originally found the recipe back in 2002, but since I've made a few changes over the years (like most people tend to do), I feel okay posting it here. By the way, this is the only cheesecake I'm allowed to make in our home now, even though I have 4 or 5 others that are also very good. I think the fact that this one has sour cream in it, makes it just that much better. Just a note, the parts in italics are my comments, and are not part of the original recipe--they are the tips that we've found make things a little easier, you know, the trial-and-error parts :-)

Uncle Anthony's Cheesecake


1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (1/2 sleeve)**
1 1/4 cups sugar
5 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 pint sour cream


**I find the best way to crush graham cracker crumbs is the old-fashioned way: put them in a quart-size Ziploc bag, make sure it's sealed, then take the rolling pin to them until there are no large chunks left. You could also put them in the food processor, but make sure you don't run it too long--otherwise you'll have graham cracker dust, instead of crumbs.**

Position 1 rack in center of oven and second rack in lowest third of oven; preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in medium saucepan on low, and remove from heat. Add 1/4 cup sugar, graham cracker crumbs, and mix well~~Watch that you only add 1/4 cup sugar here. One time I wasn't paying attention and added the full 1 1/2 cups of sugar to the crust. The outcome was a caramel-like crust, that my husband actually prefers, however it was a little much for me~~

Though not required, we also suggest adding some wax paper to the bottom of your 9-inch springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides, before placing the graham cracker mixture in it. This way you can more easily transfer the cheesecake when done, from the pan to a serving dish, which will then protect your springform pan from slice marks when cutting and serving.
Press graham cracker mixture onto bottom of pan, and set aside.

Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and remaining 1 cup sugar (we still add 1 cup, even if you made the caramel crust) in large bowl until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just to blend after each addition. Mix in vanilla. Fold in sour cream thoroughly. Pour batter into prepared pan containing the crust. Set cheesecake pan on center rack. Fill small saucepan with water and place on bottom rack.

Bake cheesecake 45 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand in warm oven 1 hour; do not open oven door. Remove from oven, transfer to rack and cool, leaving in pan. Once cool, cover and chill until cold. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead).

When ready to serve, release from pan and place on serving dish. If you can, remove wax paper from underneath. If not able to, just remember to cut a little shallowly, so as to not serve your guests a wax-paper crust as well :-)

As sometimes happens with the best of cheesecakes, yours might have developed some cracks in the top as it cooled. This is pretty normal. In fact, I don't think I've made one yet, that hasn't cracked at least a little. That's why we have berries! Or better yet, a little warmed fruit jam drizzled over the top, and tada! No one will even notice the cracks, nor will they care once they take their first bite.

So as promised, my cheesecake recipe. And if you ever need someone to quality test your creation, I'd be happy to volunteer.

Enjoy, friends! K~


Melinda said...

It was SO goooood!
So glad that you came to the studio (not just because of the cheesecake, of course).

d said...

it really is better with a cup and a half of sugar in the crust :D

Janet said...