This is probably going to be one of the worst posts that I have EVER written but there is a very good reason behind it. At the point that I am writing this I have gone without food for about 51 hrs. And yes, this was by choice.
Anyway on to the Daring Baker challenge…
The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.
Thanks Jenny for a great Challenge!!!
We were allowed huge creative license with this basic cheesecake recipe. I was going to make a margarita cheesecake. Had great plans for this but was not meant to be. T. had used up all the limes!!! But I had lemons!!! I ended up making an incredibly delicious Limoncello Cheesecake with lemon sauce. My modifications are in bold in the recipe.
Everyone loved this cheesecake! It has full of the typical cheesecake flavor. I had some trouble with the crust as I ran out of foil so it was slightly sogged. Otherwise it was great to work with and may make margarita cheesecake for a Cinco de Mayo potluck coming up…
Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake:
2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar
1 tsp.vanilla extract (I used Lemon Extract)
3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
1 cup / 210 g sugar (squeezed together with zest of one lemon)
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean) (I used lemon extract)
1 tbsp liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake (1 Tbsp Limoncello)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4 = 180C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.
2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too - baker's choice. Set crust aside.
3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.
4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.
5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done - this can be hard to judge, but you're looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don't want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won't crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.
Pan note: The creator of this recipe used to use a springform pan, but no matter how well she wrapped the thing in tin foil, water would always seep in and make the crust soggy. Now she uses one of those 1-use foil "casserole" shaped pans from the grocery store. They're 8 or 9 inches wide and really deep, and best of all, water-tight. When it comes time to serve, just cut the foil away.
Prep notes: While the actual making of this cheesecake is a minimal time commitment, it does need to bake for almost an hour, cool in the oven for an hour, and chill overnight before it is served. Please plan accordingly!
Lemon Sauce – About.com: Southern Food by Diane Rattray
This lemon sauce is made with lemon juice, cornstarch, sugar, and butter.
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon butter
In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add boiling water. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and clear. Stir in lemon peel, lemon juice, and butter. Serve warm over dessert or bread pudding.