Monday, November 26, 2012

Day 26 Reading and Fearlessness

In my home growing up there wasn't a lot of money or material things. Both of my parents worked full time. Sometimes my father was stationed away from our family for months or even years at a time. My life was different from anything that I consider normal now. Even in tough times my parents helped me to focus on things that would make a difference in my future. They taught me to read, and then instilled a love of the written word in me. They told me that if I could read I could do anything and with the absolute faith of a child, I believed them.
My new hobby is reading recipes and then fearlessly taking on the challenge of creating something outside my comfort zone. My fearlessness is more misnomer than actual truth. It's just that in my day job people sometimes die. Medicine doesn't save everyone, nor should it. So comparatively messing up a recipe, unpicking a  cross-stitch or having a crooked zipper leave me with no shame. Because they really don't matter. A messed up recipe can be redone, cross-stitch can be re-stitched and zippers still open and shut when they are crooked.
So this thanksgiving I decided to create a new york style cheesecake. I usually just do the jello and creamcheese thing in the refridgerater and top it with cherries and call it good. Instead, I got out the springform pan and baked it. Here are the results.
First you make the crust and bake it briefly in the oven.
Then you cook the pecan pie layer. Stir quickly so it doesn't boil over onto your countertop.

Pour into the crust. It's already looking yummy and we haven't even gotten to the cheese cake layer.

Beat it, then pour it and prepare to bake.
Out of the oven, a couple of minor cracks but no fissure. I used a pan of hot water on the rack below to keep the oven moist and prevent deep crevices in my cake.
And there you have it. Yes, it really does taste as good as it looks. Okay, so it was a little labor intensive but it was fun to try something new. And who knew I liked to take pictures of food?
 Here is the recipe if you want to try it yourself.

Pecan Pie Cheesecake
¾  cups vanilla wafer crumbs
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
 cup butter, melted
Pecan Filling:
1 cup sugar
 cup dark corn syrup
 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
 ½ cups chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cheesecake Filling:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
 ¼ cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 eggs
 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine wafer crumbs and brown sugar. Stir in melted butter. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9″ springform pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Pecan Filling:
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour into crust and set aside.

Cheesecake Filling:
Reduce oven to 325°. With a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Add brown sugar and flour and beat until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Stir in cream and vanilla. Pour over pecan filling. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave cheesecake in oven with the door closed for 1 hour. Remove from oven and run a knife along the outside edges to loosen cheesecake from sides of pan. Let cool. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

1 comment:

Georgia said...

That cheesecake looks spectacular!

I received a card today from a most spectacular friend. Thank you, Lisa. You are the best!