How could such a lovely and luscious and creamy pie be downgraded to such a horrendous fate?
That said, a home-made cheesecake is truly a thing of beauty.
For the vanilla series, I found a beautiful and easy cheesecake, courtesy of Tamasin's Kitchen Bible by Tamasin Day Lewis. In the recipe introduction, she thinks of cheesecake as being '60s. I think of it as being ... later's.
I did a quick check of her birthyear and I think I'm developing a theory that it is very whatever-decade-it-was-when-you-were-a-teenager...it seems a very teenaged-girl thing to make. At that age, cheesecake seems very elegant, almost grown up and far removed from regular chocolate or vanilla cakes with their spongey crumb. The correct recipe is enough to make any kitchen novice feel like an accomplished pastry chef in a chi-chi patisserie.
Okay... maybe that was going a bit far.
But a good recipe can give wobbly cook a wobbly and delicious cheesecake...and more than a bit of self-confidence and easy gratification.
This was TFE's birthday cake I made back in the spring--a special request on his part. Luscious and creamy and just slightly lemony, it's a far cry from the heavy slices found in restaurants. The topping, instead of that thick, gloopy cherry filling, was dried cherries, plumped in brandy.
Vanilla Cheesecake (inspired by Tamasin Day Lewis)
50g graham wafer crumbs
2 extra large eggs plus 1 yolk
170ml double cream
60g vanilla sugar
seeds from 1 vanilla pod
grated zest of one lemon
150ml sour cream
1 dspn vanilla sugar
100g dried cherries, plumped in brandy
- Preheat oven to 375F/190C.
- Mix the crumbs and butter together and pat them into bottom and sides of a 20cm/8" springform tin. Bake for 10 minutes and set aside.
- Mix the filling ingredients together until smooth. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 25 minutes or unitl the centre is slightly wobbly. Cool in the oven's cavern with the door ajar.
- While the pie cools, mix the sour cream and dessertspoon of vanilla sugar. Remove the sides of the tin and spread the creamy topping over the top.
- You can serve the cheesecake at room temperature or cool. Spoon the cherries, along with some of the brandy over individual slices as you serve.
- If you aren't sure of your tins, you can tightly wrap the bottom (the outside, thank you very much) in tin foil
- You can also set a pan of boiling water on the oven's lower rack--the steam might help prevent cracking (but, quite honestly, there are worse things than a cracked cheesecake...and well, there is the sour cream topping)