The monolith of all desserts, the cheesecake is quite possibly the most delicious and decadent of sweets. There are plenty of other “dirty” contenders, but the cheesecake comes in pretty much on top in the full of fat and deliciousness category. I’d never made a cheesecake before and was admittedly a little intimidated by the awesomeness of this culinary wonder of the world. Cheesecake happens to be my sweetheart’s favorite dessert, so it was time for me to figure out how to make it. I had no shame buying four blocks of cream cheese for this venture. In fact, there was a certain amount of pride in my chubby little heart, carefully placing four blocks of cheese onto a checkout counter the other night.
Dear Reader, take note: the cheesecake in the photo above should be twice as tall & yes, there’s a blueberry in that topping. We picked berries this last summer and there were a few blueberries mixed into our huckleberry haul.
Can we talk about how dangerous the springform pan is? It’s a grenade waiting to go off in your hand! I mixed up all the ingredients, gingerly pouring them into the pan with a deep smug satisfaction. I hastily grabbed the sides of the pan and opened the oven, only to have half of the filling spill out of an open side of the pan. A quick recovery saved half of the precious manna from heaven, while the other half dribbled down the innards and front of my oven.
I’m not sure I’ve ever been so upset in my life. Sure, people die, natural disasters happen, but losing half of a cheesecake? I went through the seven stages of grief several times over, cursing, cleaning, and pushing my dog away from her foiled attempt at what might well have been the best scavenging score in the history of the world.
I’m told the cheesecake turned out to be pretty delicious. The cake ended up being a little browned on the edges and challenged in the height department, but cheesecake nonetheless. Be careful with your springform pan, but by all means do everyone’s cholesterol in your family a favor and make this dessert.
– 1 1/2 cups of graham crackers, crushed
– 1/2 stick of butter, melted
– 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
– 1 1/2 cups sugar
– 3/4 cup milk
– 4 eggs
– 1 cup sour cream (or yogurt)
– 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees
– Grease a 9″ springform pan
– Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter in the bottom and press with the back of a fork into a crust
– Using a standing mixer (or by hand) combine cream cheese and sugar until smooth
– Blend in milk, and then eggs, one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate
– Mix in sour cream or yogurt, vanilla and flour until smooth
– Carefully pour filling into crust
– Handle your springform pan with care, make sure it’s locked
– Bake in preheated oven for one hour
– Turn the oven off, and let cake rest in oven with the door closed for an hour or two: this prevents cracking.
– Chill in refrigerator, while preparing topping.
– 2 cups of frozen or fresh huckleberries
– 1/4 cup of sugar
– 1/4 cup of water
– 2 Tbsps of flour
– 1 Tbsp of lemon juice
– Bring all ingredients to a boil in a saucepan on medium heat, stirring often.
– Once boiling, let simmer 2-4 minutes, turning the pan to low, still stirring.
– Take topping mixture off heat and let cool, one hour.
– Top cheesecake with mixture, chill once more for 20 – 30 minutes.
To make cutting cake easier – dip a bread knife into warm water, wiping lightly with a clean kitchen towel before slicing.