So let’s talk cheesecake. Yes, cheesecake. Soft, creamy, delicious, so terrible for people with lactose intolerances…
…but I digress.
Seriously though, intolerances be damned, I love me a good cheesecake. And my love is nothing compared to that of my husband. I am a fan of dessert, in general. We don’t do a lot of processed food here, so I eat pretty healthy meals, as a rule. My kryptonite comes in the form of anything baked. Cookies, cake, pie, cobbler, tarts, pastry… I could go on forever.
Nov. 14th was the anniversary of the release of the first Harry Potter movie in theaters, and being the obsessed dorks that we are, my husband and I attempted to plan an in home date night to watch the movie after the children went to bed. As part of our plan, I suggested we have a delicious dessert (any excuse will do!). Hubs doesn’t share my love of all things baked, unfortunately and asked if we could have cheesecake. It is one of the few desserts he really enjoys. I balked initially. Despite being his favorite, I have never, in our more than a dozen years together, actually made a cheesecake. They have always been elusive. Needing specialized pans, water baths and more “setting” time than I am generally willing to wait, it had never been not worth a few extra dollars at the grocery store.
On this particular night, however, I was feeling particularly ambitious. I knew that, since time immortal, cheesecake had been a difficult and time intensive task. I also knew that the people of Pinterest pay no mind to such things. Where there is a will, there must be a way, and I knew I could not be the only person who wanted delicious cheesecake without the fuss. I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, I was a little overwhelmed by all the possibilities. I did some recon, debated on what ingredients I had, and what type and texture I wanted to ultimately end up with. In the end, I took a little from 3 different recipes and made them my own, as I am wont to do.
It took about 2 1/2 hours, and maybe 6 ingredients. Let me tell you, my friends, it was worth it. It may have looked slightly better if I had used a springform pan, but the lack of will not keep me from making this again. Perhaps I will make it again this weekend, when we try again to actually get in that movie…
Quick, Simple Cheesecake
1 ½ – 2 cups of Nilla Wafers.
6tbs butter – softened
¼ cup granulated sugar
3 8oz packages cream cheese – room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs – room temperature
1tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup fresh berries
1tbsp granulated sugar
1tsp lemon zest
- Set oven to 325°
- Put wafers into food processor and pulse until they become the consistency of sand. Add sugar and butter and pulse until the ingredients come together (about 6-8 pulses).
- Press mixture into an oiled 9×9 pie plate or spring form mold. Place in the oven for 10 minutes and then set aside.
- Reduce oven heat to 300°
- In a medium sized bowl, combine room temperature cream cheese blocks, sugar and flour with an electric mixer on low speed. Try not to force excess air into the mixture.
- Add in eggs, sour cream and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed until mixture is smooth. Again, try not to force extra air into the mixture. Air pockets will rise in the oven and cause cracks.
- Pour the mixture into the waiting crust. See Optional Berry Swirl*
- Drop the whole thing onto the counter from 1-2” several times to release any air bubbles.
- Place on middle oven rack for 1 hour. Turn off heat and let sit for 30 minutes with the oven door closed.
- Remove cheesecake from oven and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes. 1-2 hours preferable.
*Optional Berry Swirl:
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse 3-4 times. Gently drop spoons of the berry mixture onto the cheesecake after you pour it into the crust. Use a butter knife or the other end of the spoon to gently swirl the berries through the entire thing. Make sure to get it below the surface, but take care not to pull up the bottom crust!
Don’t forget to leave me a comment and let me know how your’s worked out!