Saturday, July 26, 2008

Smooth Vanilla Cheesecake

I've always loved the smooth creamy taste of a baked cheesecake .. . .
I've experimented with many different methods and I've found the secret.
No cracks. . . not a one.
It is one of the easiest and classiest desserts to serve.
Creamy Vanilla Cheesecake
  • Preheat oven to 325

Roughly cut a piece of parchment paper to fit larger than a 9 inch spring form pan. Lay the parchment paper on to the bottom and put the edge around and squeeze the pan shut leaving the excess paper on the outside of the pan. I do this because it makes it really easy to transfer onto a serving plate once it is very well chilled. .

  • 1 1/4 cups graham wafer crumbs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Mix together the crumbs and the butter and press into the pan. I use a flat bottomed glass to make it nice and smooth and firmly pressed.

Bake the crumbs in the pan for about 10 minutes or until they are a bit fragrant.

Filling

  • 4 packages cream cheese. . . total 2 pounds .. . . room temperature
  • 5 farm fresh eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • a squeeze fresh lemon juice. . maybe a couple of teaspoons

Topping

  • 1 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Make sure that all your ingredients are room temperature.

Preheat oven to 500 F

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese on low for a minute or two until it is smooth and creamy.

Add the salt and the sugar and beat another minute or two until it is smooth. Never beat the cheese to death. Incorporating too much air will cause your cheesecake to rise and then fall and the .. .well you know what happened to humpty dumpty.

Stop your mixer in between to scrape down the sides so that all the cream cheese and sugar is evenly mixed.

Add the flour and mix until incorporated. . .not more than a minute. Now. . you don't really absolutely need flour but it helps to bind the custard. . .and keep the cheesecake stable.

Now. . .the eggs should be cracked into a bowl and at room temperature. Add one egg at a time. . they'll naturally slip in one at a time if you don't dump your bowl to quickly.

Mix the eggs in just until smooth. Add the cream and and the vanilla and lemon juice. . .another mix for half a minute.

Take your pan with the cooled crumb crust and wrap it in heavy aluminum foil. It doesn't need to be anything fancy .. .sometimes the fat will ooze a bit and the foil also helps to insulate the pan a bit. (well that's why I do it)

Now. . .

Gently pour the cheesecake batter into your pan and set it in the 500 degree oven. Set your timer for 10 minutes. At 10 minutes turn your oven to 200 degrees. Bake for another hour and 10 minutes. Don't peek.

While the cheesecake is baking, stir together your sour cream, sugar and vanilla.

After the hour and ten, the cake should be fairly set. . open up the oven and pour your topping (which really is optional but I love it) on your cake smooth it out and put it back in your oven for another 10 minutes.

Put an instant read thermometer in the center of the cheesecake. Your aim is to have it read 150.

The total baking time shouldn't be more than about an hour and a half up to an hour and forty minutes but you really need the instant read thermometer to help you with knowing when it is done. The jiggly in the center is also a good judge but it is hard to get it perfect with this test. I hate to say the exact time because every oven is a wee bit different. . you need the thermometer .. .150

Take the cheesecake out of the oven and let it sit in a draft free room temperature spot for a few hours and then chill it completely in the fridge.

Blueberry Sauce

  • 2-3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sugar or to taste
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water

Combine all this and cover and put in the microwave for a minute, stir and cook for another minute or two until bubbly.

I also made some raspberry coulis which is 2 cups of raspberries and a half cup of sugar in the blender. .

Pool a little raspberry sauce on your plate, put on your cheesecake and cover with a good tablespoon or two of blueberry sauce. . .and a dollop of whipped cream for good measure.

Have ONE piece. . .and share the rest. ( that is my heart healthy tip)

16 comments:

  1. I can atest to the fact that this is DIVINE! We took Lovella and Terry out on our boat for a dinner cruise last night to celebrate the ripe and perfected age of 50 . For dessert we enjoyed this exact cheesecake you are seeing. It was a perfect finish to a great evening. Lovella and I have always said it is about the food. And your presentation is lovely. Kathy

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  2. It looks perfect! Yes, I agree with Kathy, it's about the food and I'll add that the presentation can make the food taste even better...

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  3. OH MY........what is there to add to perfection, lick my lips.

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  4. sounds wonderful...liked your heart health tip too :)

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  5. Mmmmm...and I can never pass up a good cheesecake! It looks divine, Lovella.

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  6. Oh Lovella, simplicity is beauty. Cheesecake is indeed a classy dessert and the less fuss...(all those silly additives) .... the less fuss and the simpler...the more pure the taste and the more perfect the slice. Beautiful!

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  7. This sounds fabulous and the very next time I'm entertaining special company, I'll be giving this a try.

    Gosh! It looks so sophisticated over here...print buttons and everything. Fantastic!

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  8. Beautiful cheesecake! I especially love the flowers used for decoration.

    LaTeaDah

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  9. it looks absolutely beautiful......

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  10. I love this site sooo many new ideas for cooking. Now I'd like to know if anyone has ideas of what to do with yellow plums?
    appreciative reader in Abbotsford

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  11. I have never tried to make a baked cheesecake but you have inspired me - I will run out and borrow a spring form pan and buy a thermometer. I'll follow your directions to a "t" - and let you know how it turns out. Thanks Lovella!

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  12. Excellent website, my sister bettyr got me hooked!!! Just like Betty, I too enjoy cooking and baking and therefore absolutely love viewing the recipes.
    Thank you.
    Norma

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  13. I am home from a wonderful week at the cabin! Sure missed the cooking blog while I was gone.
    Great cheesecake recipe..now I'm hungry!
    Hey sister, nice comment. Next you have to be a contributor..I'll be hounding you as you have lots of good recipes 'up your sleeve'..ahem, make that your cookbook or 'by heart'.

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  14. Yummy, this looks great!!! I love the detailed instructions that will certainly help to make a beautiful cake perfect! Thank you for sharing so many useful tips!
    It looks like one of those "labor of love" recipes! - now if only I could convince my Mr H how wonderful cheesecake really is! =(

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  15. I stumbled on this website when I was searching for a recipe for seafood stuffing and I have to say I'm hooked! The recipes on here look amazing. I haven't actually tried any yet, but know where to go when I need inspiration for my next dinner party. This cheesecake recipe looks perfect and although I've never made a cheesecake, I feel the instructions are so precise that I might be able to do it! Just one question. The recipe calls for "heavy" cream. Does this mean whipping cream? I'm from England (now living in Canada) and we have lots of types of cream, such as double cream, single cream, clotted cream etc, but they are not available in here. I've found small pots of double cream at Loblaws, but they are very expensive. Thanks again for the wonderful recipes.

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  16. Ah. . yes heavy cream is whipping cream. It can be very confusing with different ingredients being called different things. . .but I should have known to call it whipping cream. Thank you.

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