Friday, September 19, 2014

The Perfect Cheesecake

by Marie Lasater, Guest Blogger

I’ve been in search of the perfect cheesecake for years – that rare cheesecake that cannot be found at The Cheesecake Factory, and certainly not at the local grocery store, AKASara Lee.” The perfect cheesecake is a little dry to the palate, not creamy, and you can taste the cheese!

At the ripe old age of 57, after trying dozens of recipes that pretty much produced a flat cake that tasted like eggs, I found IT, the perfect cheesecake. And I stole it. The recipe, that is. And now I am going to share it with you.

My gorgeous friend Theo had an intimate little gathering at her place. The purpose was three-fold: Christmas, the launch of her new book, and running her new boyfriend through the gauntlet. On the table laden with a succulent smoked turkey and canap├ęs and hors d’oeuvres of every description was an open spot. The spot was soon filled when Theo took the most beautiful cheesecake I have ever seen out of her oven. I was speechless. The cake was a work of art, spilling over the sides of its spring-form pan, with a light brown crust and those noteworthy cracks on top of which only a “real” cheesecake can boast.

As I took my first bite, not only could I taste the cheese, my palate was exhilarated with the dry, yet crumbly feel of what I consider a true New York style cheesecake. I announced, “Theo, I must have this recipe!” She handed me a small piece of cardboard from a box with some instructions written on it. This Holy Grail proclaimed in Theo’s handwriting “this one.”

I grabbed that piece of cardboard, and as soon as I could, I took off to my own kitchen. Anxious to see if I could create the masterpiece, I followed the sketchy directions on that piece of cardboard.

Perfect Cheesecake

1 lb. cream cheese
24 oz. ricotta cheese
16 oz sour cream
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter -softened
3 tbs. flour
Make a graham cracker crust with graham cracker crumbs and melted butter, and press into the bottom of a spring-form pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.
Beat all the above ingredients, then add 4 lightly beaten eggs (I use farm eggs), 2 Tbs. lemon juice and 1 Tbs. vanilla. Pour into the spring form pan and bake at 375 degrees for 75 minutes.

This cheesecake is delicious plain, but if you are taking it to an event, I bring home-made preserves (peach, blackberry) and let folks add their own topping.