In & Out of the Kitchen: Yes, cheesecake can be manageable, easy

Top left: Graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar form the crust for the cheesecake. Top right: Ready to cook. Bottom left: Finished cake, with cracks. Bottom right: The finished product, unmolded and ready to slice.
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Top left: Graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar form the crust for the cheesecake. Top right: Ready to cook. Bottom left: Finished cake, with cracks. Bottom right: The finished product, unmolded and ready to slice.

I’m going back to making cheesecake.

I’ve never been able to make one without that unsightly crack that forms across the top. No matter how slowly I would cool it, the crack would always be there.

Another reason I stepped back from making cheesecake is that my wonderful white KitchenAid mixer is small: The bowl barely holds a standard cheesecake recipe.

But people around here have been asking about cheesecake lately, so I dug out an old recipe. The only name I have for it is “Cheese Cake (Easy) from Mom.” It’s easy because it’s a manageable size; it uses two 8-ounce packages of cream cheese instead of three or four. It can fit in a 9-inch pie pan.

You don’t even need any special equipment to make this; the pie pan does the job. Just butter it and pour in the filling. And isn’t that what cheesecake is about — the filling?

I made it once and baked the filling in a buttered pie pan, no crust. It came out perfectly, but I moved onto larger recipes and left it behind. Then I stopped making cheesecake.

Take out the good vanilla — you’ll really taste it here. I increased it to one and one-half teaspoons and added a dash of lemon juice.

I pulled out one of Mom’s beautiful old nickel-plated tart pans, and put graham cracker crumbs on the bottom and partway up the sides, which had been generously buttered.

I pushed my luck, using the fancy, deeper pan and adding the tasty graham cracker crust.

I cooled it slowly and carefully, and it still cracked, but I didn’t stress about it.

What am I going to do, stop making cheesecake?

It doesn’t look perfect, but it sure tastes perfect.

Easy Cheese Cake

Ingredients
2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
Dash salt
1/2 tsp. butter

Steps
Beat cream cheese until fluffy.
Gradually beat in sugar.
Beat in eggs one at a time.
Add vanilla and salt.
Pour into a buttered 9-inch pie pan.
Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees until lightly golden.
Serves 6

Categories: Food, Life and Arts

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