Cheesy Cheesecake


I have never made cheesecake in my life! I always thought cheesecake was really difficult to pull off. But recently I figured I’d give it a try. Every year after Thanksgiving I always have leftover cranberry sauce.

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I usually serve it hot on top of a bowl of my homemade ice cream (which is a revelation but I digress). Every year I can never think of anything else to do with it…Then, BINGO! Why not top a nice cheesecake with the cranberry sauce! First I had to make a decent cheesecake. I settled on a relatively simple recipe.

DAG’S CLASSIC CHEESECAKE

Ingredients

Crust
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup superfine sugar, can also use granulated
6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted

Filling
16 ounces plain full-fat cream cheese (two 8-ounce packages)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

Instructions

Crust
Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a small bowl. Make sure to get every crumb coated with butter.
Pour into a 7-inch springform pan. Spread into an even layer, then compress firmly with a measuring cup making sure to press up the sides of the pan. Place in refrigerator.

Filling
Combine the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix at medium speed until soft and smooth. Scrape the bowl as needed.
Switch to the whisk attachment and pour in the cream. Mix at low speed to combine, then increase to high and whip until the mixture can hold stiff peaks, 3 to 5 minutes.
Pour into the prepared crust.
Refrigerate until the filling is firm and cold, about 6 hours or overnight.

First thing I did was make my crust. Quickest way, put the graham crackers in a food processor and press the button. I combined the butter and sugar and pressed it into my pan but I didn’t put the pan in the fridge.  Anyway, I combined and beat my filling

I poured my filling into a springform pan. I wrapped the pan in foil halfway up the sides and placed it in a water bath. I baked it for 55 minutes at 325 degrees. I didn’t really know when it was set as I had never made a cheesecake but after giving it the finger test…which is of course touching the crust with your finger I decided that it was set…I guess. #NoCracks

A note about the crust: My crust came a little shall we say abstract. I could never get it to look like those neat and tidy crust you see in cookbooks, but FUCK IT.

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After removing the cake from the pan and letting it cool. I simply added my cold cranberry sauce on top and look at that! I call it Davey’s Holiday Cranberry Cheesecake!

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So, needless to say I went on to make like half a dozen cheesecakes and gave them away. But right now, my fave cheesecake to make is a no bake cheesecake. My daughter loves it. I’d never had a no bake cheesecake until I ate Thanksgiving dinner at my brother’s last year and one of the guests brought a cherry no bake cheesecake. Now when they hit the door people started calling dibs on the cheesecake leftovers. After I tasted it I was hooked!

NO BAKE CHEESECAKE

Ingredients

Crust
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup superfine sugar, can also use granulated
6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted

Filling
16 ounces plain full-fat cream cheese (two 8-ounce packages)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) heavy whipping cream

INSTRUCTIONS:

Crust
Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a small bowl. Make sure to get every crumb coated with butter.
Pour into a 7-inch spring form pan. Spread into an even layer, then compress firmly with a measuring cup making sure to press up the sides of the pan. Set aside.

Filling
Combine the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix at medium speed until soft and smooth. Scrape the bowl as needed.
Switch to the whisk attachment and pour in the cream. Mix at low speed to combine, then increase to high and whip until the mixture can hold stiff peaks, 3 to 5 minutes.
Pour into the prepared crust.
Refrigerate until the filling is firm and cold, about 6 hours or overnight.

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I followed the easy recipe above. The first time I made it I used canned cherry topping but I found some frozen pitted sweet dark cherries at Trader Joe’s and made a compote out of them. Not nearly as sophisticated as a traditional cheesecake but it is a barn burner!

HOMEMADE CHERRY CHEESECAKE TOPPING

INGREDIENTS

5 to 6 cups of frozen pitted sweet dark cherries

1/2 cup water

2 Tbl spoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

2/3 cup granulated sugar

4 Tablespoons corn starch

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

INSTRUCTIONS

In a sauce pan over medium heat combine cherries, water lemon juice sugar and corn starch.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook on low for 10 minutes

Stir in almond extract and let cool before using.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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