Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake



I was planning to try my hand at pumpkin cheesecake for thanksgiving but made a last minute executive decision to switch to vanilla bean (since I realized that pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake would be a bit redundant!)
This recipe comes from Bon Appetit by way of Epicurious. I ommitted the cranberry topping due to time. My vanilla beans were pretty old and not so strong anymore, and the store was OUT of them, so I used them plus a couple generous tsp of vanilla extract to make sure it have a nice strong vanilla flavor - which it dod (but not too much either, perfect!). I also cooked it in a water bath. My first cheesecake came out eh and I think that was from a lack of water bath. This one, with water bath, cooked PERFECTLY - no cracks or anything!


It was SO GOOD.

Crust
12 vanilla sandwich cookies (such as Vienna Fingers; 6 1/2 ounces), broken into pieces (I used a whole pkg to have enough for the sides too, and added extra butter to compensate)

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature

1/4 cup sugar

Filling

2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise

1/2 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature (3 pkgs)

1 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

4 large eggs

Topping

1 12-ounce bag fresh or frozen cranberries

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup frozen cranberry juice cocktail, thawed

1/4 cup water



Preparation

For Crust: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350° F. Wrap outside of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with foil. Blend cookies, butter and sugar in processor until crumbs stick together. Press crumbs on bottom and halfway up sides of prepared pan. Bake crust 10 minutes. Set aside. Maintain oven temperature.


For Filling: Using tip of small sharp knife, scrape seeds from vanilla beans into small saucepan; add beans. Add cream. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Set aside uncovered, and cool to room temperature. Discard beans.
Blend cheese, sugar and salt in processor until very smooth, stopping often to scrape down sides of work bowl. Add vanilla cream and blend. Add eggs; process 5 seconds. Scrape down sides of work bowl; process just until blended, about 5 seconds. Transfer filling to crust.
Bake cake until sides puff slightly and center is just set, about 50 minutes. Place uncovered hot cheesecake directly into refrigerator and chill thoroughly, at least 6 hours or overnight.


For Topping: Stir all ingredients in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil 3 minutes. Press mixture through sieve set over large bowl, pressing firmly on solids. Spoon warm topping over cold cake; spread evenly. Chill until topping is set, at least 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.)

1 comment:

MrsPresley said...

beautiful cheesecake! the water bath is definitely the key...