"Live life in radical amazement…get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible." ~ Rabbi Abraham Heschel
Last week was our amazing daughter's birthday and of course she requested cheesecake as she does every year! We had an incredibly beautiful snowfall the last couple days, gently falling for hours on end. Love the snow mound on the drive-through monitor... and the flock of ducks in the snow made me smile, I wonder what they were thinking?!
RECIPE OF THE WEEK
This week's recipe was our daughter's cheesecake, this year the best ever thanks to Bobbi Hensrud directing me to www.culinaryphilosopher.com! I have made some delicious cheesecakes in years past, but I always have trouble with it cracking or caving in the center. There are recipes I have tried that address this problem in different ways, but not only were they 'fussy'... they didn't really work. This one does, and it is easy! The recipe comes from a professional chef who says the recipe is basically the one made famous as Lindy's cheesecake. The trick is baking it in a solid 3" X 10" cake pan rather than a springform pan so it can bake it a water bath with no leaking into the batter. He also recommends cutting it with a thin brass wire rather than a knife for smooth cuts. Allow at least 4 hours for the cake to cool before serving.
NO-FAIL NEW YORK STYLE CHEESECAKE
- 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (1 pack)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 5 tablespoons melted butter, plus more to grease pan
- 3 pounds cream cheese (six 8-oz packages)
- 2 cups sugar
- 6 whole eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- zest from 1 orange
- zest from 1 lemon
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare the water bath by placing a pan in the oven with some water in it, large enough to hold the cake pan with water going up at least halfway.
Grease the bottom and sides of the pan, then cut a circle of parchment and place in the bottom of the pan. Lightly dust the sides of the pan with graham cracker crumbs. Mix together the remaining cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press into the parchment.
Lightly beat the cream cheese until it is smooth with few lumps but not loose. Add all of the sugar, beat until it is combined well with the cream cheese before adding anything else. Scrape down the sides fo the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and the zests and beat into the cream cheese. Add 1 egg at a time and beat until each is completely incorporated. Scape down the mixing bowl after each addition, finishing with the egg yolks. Add the flour and the heavy cream and beat until just incorporated. Pour into the prepared cake pan.
Place the cake pan into the pan in the preheated oven and pour more hot water into the outer pan until it comes at least half way up the sides of the cheese cake pan. Bake for 90 minutes. The cheese cake is donw when the top is golden brown and the center has raised a little with tiny cracks starting to appear at the surface. Remove the cheese cake from teh oven, let it cool a bit at room temperature and then place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours until completely cooled.
To remove the cheesecake from the pan, dip the pan in hot water for about 15 seconds. Dry the outside of the pan, cover the top of the pan with a platter and invert the cheesecake on top of the plate. Remove the parchment and put your serving platter on the bottom of the cake and turn it right-side up. Cut with a thin brass wire for smooth-edged cuts. Makes 16 slices.