Monday, January 30, 2006

Cheesecake Sampler

Cream cheese went on special this week so it was time to try out a cheesecake recipe from the free "Little Book of Cheesecakes" that I ordered a new cookbook to get. There are two recipes for New York style cheesecakes in it. One is a cheesecake sampler, i.e. each piece has a different topping, and the other is plain. They are made in different size pans which was the deciding factor for me. The plain one requires a 7" springform pan. My springform pan is a standard 9" one as required by the sampler recipe. So that's the one I made sans the myriad toppings.

This one is definitely an adventure. I don't think I've ever made anything that required 7 eggs and 3 containers of sour cream. Nor have I ever baked anything that had to sit in an unheated oven for 4 hours. It is also probably the heaviest baked good I have ever made. But in the end, it was all worth it. This is by far the best cheesecake recipe I have ever made and comes very close to being the best cheesecake I have ever tasted.

Verdict: Yum! This one's a keeper.

Cheesecake Sampler
(Source: Southern Living Little Book of Cheesecakes)

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
7 large eggs
3 (8-ounce) containers sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Combine first 3 ingredients; stir well. Press mixture firmly into bottom and up sides of a lightly greased 9-inch springform pan. Chill thoroughly.

Beat cream cheese at high speed with a heavy-duty electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add 1 3/4 cups sugar, beating well. Add egs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sour cream and vanilla; beat at low speed until smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 25 minutes. Turn off oven, and leave cheesecake in oven 4 hours. (Do not open oven door.)

Remove cheesecake from oven; cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill 8 hours. Gently run a knife around edge of cheesecake to relese sides of pan; carefully remove pan; transfer cheesecake to a serving platter. Cut into 8 wedges; top each slice with desired Cheesecake Toppings.

Recycle: vanilla extract bottle

Compost: eggshells

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