Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Ultimate Cheesecake Lives Up To It's Name

So there's this cheesecake recipe that's been kind of famous in my family for as long as I can remember.

We were introduced to it through my lovely aunt years and years ago and I've been making it pretty much my entire adult life.  There was a time when I made this thing so often I had the recipe committed to memory.  It's so good people would ask me to make it for their birthday- and pretty much any other event that called for eating!

This is soooo not diet food.
Like not even close.

Cream cheese.
Sour cream.
You know...the good stuff.

When finished this guy weighs a ton and it always makes me giggle a little when I take the finished product out of the oven.  It's a little time consuming to make, but totally simple and you are guaranteed to get oohs and aaahs from whomever you serve it to and forever be known as The Cheesecake Queen (or king!) to your guests.

This is definitely not a cheesecake of the Jell-o no-bake variety, ladies and gentlemen.
No- this is the stuff that cheesecake dreams are made of.

This is the kind of cheesecake that causes people to close their eyes, emit a quiet groan of happiness, and slowly savor their first bite before looking up at you and saying "ohmygoodness- this.  is.  AMAZING!"

Every time.

This recipe has gotten so much use over the years!
The difference starts with the crust.  Ground almonds are mixed into your standard graham cracker crust.  When I first started making this I could go to the store and buy ground almonds but apparently I was the only person out there buying them because I haven't found them that way for years.  Now I just buy a packet of sliced or slivered almonds and run them through the food processor until they're finely ground.

After that, it's just solid, delicious ingredients- and booze.  Did I mention booze?  Of course this baby is baked, so it's not going to make you tipsy or anything but that amaretto flavor permeates this cake perfectly.  I've been tempted many times over the years to try other combos- like hazelnuts in the crust and Frangelico in the cake maybe?  :-) but when it comes down to it I always tend to play it safe and stick with what I know is going to blow people's minds when they take a bite.  Maybe some day I'll be brave and try a variation.

The only thing I do differently from the recipe as it is written is that I use a bain marie, but I've made it without and not had an issue.  Aside from that I follow the recipe to a "T" and it turns out perfectly every time!

Courtesy of My Amazing Aunt

3/4 C graham cracker crumbs
1/4 C ground almonds
4 Tbsp white sugar
4 Tbsp melted butter

4 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
2 C white sugar
3 Tbsp corn starch
16 oz sour cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C amaretto liqueur
1/2 tsp salt
6 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Combine first 4 ingredients and press into 9" springform pan.  Bake 10 minutes.  Set aside.

2. In large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch, and mix until smooth.  Add sour cream, vanilla, liqueur, and salt.  Mix well.  On low speed beat in one egg at a time.

3. Pour over crust.  Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.  Turn off oven, crack door, and let sit 30 min.  Watch that it doesn't dry!

4. Remove and run knife around edges to loosen.  Chill completely (overnight).

1 comment:

  1. Well, well, well so glad a new generation of cooks has discovered this. Gourmet Magazine started the nationwide rage for Amaretto and eventually other liqueurs with a cover shot of this type of cheesecake, tho they used Nabisco Chocolate Wafers (no, not oreo type cookies, real chocolate wafer cookies), a water bath, and a sour cream topping in the late 1970's It made the rounds acquiring a graham cracker crust when clever cooks couldn't find chocolate wafers. They're worth finding, if for no other reason than the package recipe for the Chocolate Cookie Wafer Roll==the easiest fancy desert you'll ever find.
    Thanks for the memories, we'll be having one of these soon.


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