Cheesing it Up

This year, for his birthday dessert, my husband requested cheesecake. If you know my husband, then you know how much of a triumph this moment is for me. Starting off as a picky eater when we both were wed, his tastes have broadened slightly, making me a very, very happy girl.

I have been making this cheesecake for years now, and it’s my absolute favorite. A pecan crust, creamy center, and ease of preparation make this dessert worthwhile.

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
Recipe courtesy of Ganache

For the crust:
2 cups Graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup chopped pecans
4 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp sugar

For the cheesecake:
4 8 oz blocks of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds removed
1 tbsp flour
4 eggs
1 cup sugar

Line the outside of a 9 inch springform pan with tin foil, crimping it around the pan to make a waterproof barrier.

Preheat your oven to 350.

Mix crust ingredients together in a bowl and press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. The bottom of a measuring cup or large glass works great in pressing the crust up the sides and packing in all the crumbs for you!

Bake for 10 minutes, at 325, until crust is set and slightly brown. Remove and let cool slightly. Crank your oven up to 450.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor or with a stand mixer, combine cream cheese and sugar until well blended and slightly fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, blending well after each use. Add remaining ingredients and blend well. Pour into cooled crust.

Place unbaked cheesecake into a larger baking pan where the springform pan can sit flat. Pour in recently boiled water in the larger pan to create a hot water bath, being careful not to splash into the cheesecake.

Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, reduce the oven to 250, and not opening the oven, bake for one hour. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and the water and allow to cool at room temperature. Remove the foil and cool the cheesecake in the fridge overnight to set properly. Next day, slice and serve.


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