Wednesday, March 31, 2010

cheesecake (Passover or regular)

Sorry for all the Passover dessert recipes, but it's that time of year (and I was in charge of dessert for our mini-seder). I'd never made a cheesecake before and felt a little absurdly proud of myself about this one... there is a definite leap of faith involved, because it's impossible to tell if it's done or not, but I followed the directions exactly, and it set just fine. And no one got salmonella. That I know of, anyway.

For the crust, I Passover-ized it by taking 2 c coconut macaroons and mixing them with 3 T melted butter, and then pressing it into the pan. You don't have to go up the sides; the cheesecake adheres to itself and you don't need any crust on the outside. A graham cracker crust would probably be even more delicious.

Make crumb crust as directed. Preheat oven to 350°F.

Make filling and bake cake:
Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy and add eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla and sugar, beating on low speed until each ingredient is incorporated and scraping down bowl between additions.

Put springform pan with crust in a shallow baking pan. Pour filling into crust and bake in baking pan (to catch drips) in middle of oven 45 minutes, or until cake is set 3 inches from edge but center is still slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken. Let stand in baking pan on a rack 5 minutes. Leave oven on.

Make topping:
Stir together sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Drop spoonfuls of topping around edge of cake and spread gently over center, smoothing evenly. Bake cake with topping 10 minutes.

Run a knife around top edge of cake to loosen and cool completely in springform pan on rack. (Cake will continue to set as it cools.) Chill cake, loosely covered, at least 6 hours. Remove side from pan and transfer cake to a plate. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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