Friday, December 19, 2008

New York Cheesecake

Recipe courtesy Scott Bieber, Executive Chef at Taste

Cook Time: 1 hr 20 min
Level: Difficult
Yield: 6 to 8 servings


* 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
* 5 tablespoons sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
* 6 tablespoons melted butter

* 24 ounces cream cheese
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 tablespoon lemon zest (recommended: Meyer lemon)
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 5 eggs, separated
* 1/4 cup heavy cream
* 2 tablespoons sugar

* 12 ounces creme fraiche
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* Cherry Confit, recipe follows
* Special equipment: a 9-inch non-stick Teflon coated spring form pan
* Serving suggestion: with a dessert wine (recommended: Alsatian Riesling).


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and butter together in a mixing bowl. Pour the mixture into the springform pan and using a mixing cup press the crumbs into the base. Using your fingers gently press crumbs into the sides of the pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Let cool.

In a food processor, cream the cream cheese and the sugar together. Add the zest and vanilla, Blend until smooth. Add 5 egg yolks and heavy cream, pulse until smooth. Pour into a large clean bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until a soft froth forms. Add 2 tablespoons sugar slowly to the egg whites and continue to whisk until soft peaks form. Fold into cream cheese, a little bit at a time until fully integrated. Pour into the prepared springform pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until firm. Let cool for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Mix the creme fraiche and sugar together and gently spread over the top of the cooled cheesecake. Bake for 5 minutes. Let cool until the topping is set or chill overnight and serve. Best served at room temperature.

Serve with Cherry Confit.

Cherry Confit:

1 pound fresh cherries, pitted
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 vanilla bean, split
2 sprigs thyme (tied with string)

In a medium non-corrosive saucepan place water, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and thyme. Bring to the boil, turn down heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add cherries and simmer for 1 hour. If more liquid is needed add water. Continue to simmer until the cherry mixture is thick and the cherries are soft. Pour into a clean container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Yield: 6 servings
Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes


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