Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Don't panic, I survived the spider bite!
Generally I am in the habit of blogging here at least 5 days a week, however the entirety of yesterday was spent with Father Humble trying to rescue data off one of my dead hard drives. After no less than 15 hours of work, we--well he--was successful. I have all my data back and I should probably burn my years of precious photographs to disks rather than relying on these temperamental external drives.
So! Fortified by my good fortune, I'm back in the kitchen today and turning out goodies once again. Today's treat: Lime Cheesecake with a Blackberry Swirl. I just love the combination of blackberry and lime. It is sweet, tart and creamy.
I was itching to make mini cheesecakes (nothing to do with the spider bite) and decided to put my 4" springforms to use. However, since I know that is a rather uncommon pan size I'll post the recipe for this cheesecake in 10" form. If you DO have lots of mini cheesecake pans lying around, then feel free to divide among your pans (though you may need up to 50% more crust to make multiple minis). This recipe makes roughly eight 4" cheesecakes or one 10" cheesecake.
Not So Humble Lime Shortbread Crust
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons lime zest
In a food processor, combine the starch, flour, sugar, salt and butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Pulse in the zest, if using and then pour into a 10" springfrom pan.
Press the crumbs into an even layer at the bottom of the pan and half way up the sides to form the crust. Place in the freezer and then preheat your oven to 350°F with a rack in the lower third of the oven.
When the oven is hot pull the crust out of the freezer and bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
Not So Humble Blackberry Lime Cheesecake
32 ounces cream cheese (at room temperature)
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/2 cup sour cream (at room temperature)
4 large eggs (at room temperature)
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons lime zest
2 cups blackberries
splash lemon juice
Preheat your oven to 350°F with a rack set in the lower third of your oven.
Start by making the blackberry sauce: In a food processor combine the blackberries with the splash of lemon juice and enough simple syrup to make a slightly thick slurry. Strain the mixture and collect the juices (this is optional, sometimes I use the whole fruit) and set aside, discarding the remaining solids.
To make the cheesecake, beat the cream cheese for roughly 4 minutes on medium speed until smooth in your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Slowly pour the sugar into the cream cheese scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla, lime zest and sour cream. Sift the flour into the mixture. Reduce your mixer's speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each one is just incorporated taking care not to over beat the mixture.
Pour the mixture into the pan with the crust. Pour the blackberry mixture into a plastic sandwich bag and cut off enough of the corner to pipe a 1/4" - 1/2" ribbon of sauce. Pipe parallel lines of the mixture across the top of the cheesecake. Using a skewer or toothpick, drag it through the batter perpendicular to the lines in a zig zag to create the marbling effect. You can also just swirl the toothpick for a more abstract design.
Set the cheesecake on to two large sheets of aluminum foil and smooth them up the sides of the pan, making it water tight. Set the cake into a deep roasting pan and place in the oven. Carefully pour boiling water into the roasting pan. About an inch of water works fine, but don't pour above the lowest edge of your foil. (Note: If you're making mini cheesecakes, you can skip the water bath. Simply place a rack in the lowest part of your oven--below the cheesecakes--and set a pan of boiling water onto it. This will keep the humidity in your oven high and help keep the heat gentle.)
Bake for approximately 60-70 minutes until cake is set but center is still slightly wobbly. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven with the door ajar for roughly 20 minutes. Carefully remove the roasting pan from the oven and set the cheesecake onto a wire rack to cool (You'll need to be particularly gentle when handling a marbled cheesecake, as the topping has weakened the surface tension on the cake and they can be prone to cracking). Once the cake is room temperature chill for a minimum of 4 hours, ideally overnight.