Saturday, December 25, 2010

Recipe - Lemony Cheesecake

Yum yum for cheesecake =D. Who can deny its rich goodness? My friends and I had been wanting to make cheesecake for a while now so decided one summer day in July to give it a whirl. We added a fun alternative method to our preparation though…anyhow, the recipe comes from FoodNetwork. Generally I post up my own recipes but since I’m basically clueless about baking, I had to refer to a delicious confirmed blueprint that I made slight adjustments to so here goes! (Original recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/the-ultimate-cheesecake-recipe/index.html)

Step 1: Ingredients (8 inch pie)
  • vanilla extract (dash)
  • non-stick cooking spray OR oil
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 lb cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 cups finely ground cinnamon graham crackers
  • 3 eggs
      Ingredient notes:
  1. Graham crackers - If you end up with extra crumb mixture, freeze it for another use like sprinkling on top of ice cream, yum!
      Equipment notes:
  1. You will need special cookware as well – 8-inch springform pan, hand mixer, zester/grater, roasting pan (or large foil tray), and food processor if not using OUR alternative methods.


Step 2: Crushing the crackers
Leave the cream cheese out to be softened (we put the boxes in a bowl outside). Ground the cinnamon graham crackers with a food processor or run over a box with your car like we did. It seriously worked but make sure to not get any gravel in your crackers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ww9VelZV-7Y is our fun video of doing this!



Step 3: Creating the crust
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine the melted butter and graham crackers. Use the cooking spray/oil to coat the pan before adding this crust mixture to it. To make the crust tight, use the bottom of a cup to press the crumbs down. Stick it in the fridge.





Step 4: Zesting the lemon
Make sure not to get the pith (white part of the lemon) into the mix or else it will be bitter. Start boiling a large pot of water.

Step 5: Preparing the cream cheese
Use the hand mixer to beat the cream cheese until it is smooth before adding the eggs (one at a time). Then add the sugar. Beat until creamy but still thick.

Step 6: Mixing ingredients
Add your sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Make sure not to beat the mix too much or else your cheesecake will be too soft (we did this since it was our first time but solved it by freezing the whole pie). Pour the filling onto the crust.



Step 7: Baking
Place the pan onto aluminum foil & fold up the sides so water does not seep into the cake. Then put your pan into the roasting pan/foil tray before filling that tray with the boiling water. Bake this for 45 minutes.



Step 8: Completion and eating
The cheesecake should still jiggle a bit when you are done. Let it cool for half an hour before moving it to the refrigerator for a few hours (cover loosely). Then…dig in!