Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Three Cheese Cake

I am a nut for cheesecake, everytime I have gone to New York I have gained 10 pounds due entirely to cheesecake as I just can't stop myself from getting it at every available place. However, seeing as how I don't often make it out to good old NY, I'm always looking for great recipes of Cheesecake I can make. Here is one I found and adore -- it has three cheeses in it that are harder to find, you have to plan ahead and purchase them, but it is worth it (I found two of the three cheeses at Costco & the other at Smiths)!

This cheesecake can be made as 1 large cake, or as lots of mini cakes. I tried both, but slightly preferred the single large cake which preserves more of the moist cheesecakey texture.

Pastry Base
5 T sugar
1/2 c unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
1 t orange or lemon zest
1 1/4 cup flour, sifted

Cheesecake Filling
2/3 cup neufchatel
2/3 cup quark, drained
1/3 cup fresh goat cheese
4 eggs, separated
1 t orange or lemon zest
2/3 cup sugar
1 T flour

Butter a spring form pan and line it with a circle of parchment or waxed paper cut to fit just the bottom. It’s a bit easier to cut it a bit larger and then set it in place and use a knife to trim off any excess.

Prepare the crust by mixing together the sugar, butter, egg yolk and zest in a bowl until it is a bit creamy. You can do this is a stand mixer, or by hand. Next add the flour and work until you get a smooth dough, dusting with a bit more flour if it seems too sticky. Roll it into a ball, flatten slightly and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Preheat your oven to 300F.

Roll out the dough (you have to pre-bake it) to 1/8 inch. Get it close to the size of the bottom of your tin, and then trim it in place. You just want it on the bottom… it shouldn’t come up the sides. Bake for 20 minutes until it is about 1/2 cooked. Remove the crust from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack. Reduce the oven temp to 275F.

Mix the cheese, egg yolk and lemon zest in a bowl until smooth and creamy. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they are stiff, then slowly add the sugar and the flour to the egg whites. Fold half of the egg whites into the cheese mixture to lighten it some. Then, fold the cheese mixture into the egg white mixture. Spoon over the crust until the pan is about 3/4 full. You need a little bit of room, because the cake will puff up during baking. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for about 1 hour, or until it is firm. Allow to cool. It will sink during this time… that’s what the fruit topping is for.

Serve topped with fresh berries, orange slices, etc… anything that is not too heavy as you don’t want the cake to compress even more.

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