Well, luckily my Easter cheesecake was a resounding success, and it wasn't hard either! So, as promised, here's the recipe for the next time you're craving a fabulous finish to a fabulous meal. I pulled this recipe a few years ago from a Gourmet magazine spread called In Pursuit of Cheesecakes, where Gourmet says it is their absolute favourite in the creamy category. And, wow, is this ever true. Sorry I don't have a photo -- I kind of missed the boat on that one, and it was eaten way too fast! -- but it really is a little taste of heaven. Hope you enjoy!
Three Cities of Spain Cheesecake (from Gourmet Magazine, November 1999)
1 graham crumb crust
3 8-oz packages cream cheese softened
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
16 oz sour cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
** I made this into a lemon cheesecake, so I also added 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest to the filling, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to the topping. I suggest, though, that you taste test, just to make sure you have the right amount of lemon/sugar that you like.
Prepare crumb crust. Stir together 1.5 cups finely ground graham crackers, 5 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted), 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. I also added 1 teaspoon of grated lemon rind. Press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of a buttered 24-centimeter springform pan. Fill right away or chill up to 2 hours.
Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy and add eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla and sugar, beating on low speed until each ingredient is incorporated and scraping down bowl between additions.
Put springform pan with crust in a shallow baking pan. Pour filling into crust and bake in baking pan (to catch drips)in middle of oven 45 minutes, or until cake is set 3 inches from edge but centre is still slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken. Let stand in baking pan on a rack 5 minutes. Leave oven on.
Stir together sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Drop spoonfulls of topping around edge of cake and spread gently over centre, smoothing evenly. Bake cake with topping 10 minutes.
Run a knife around top edge of cake to loosen and cool completely in springform pan on rack. (Cake will continue to set as it cools.) Chill cake, loosely covered, at least 6 hours. Remove side from pan and transfer cake to a plate. Bring to room temperature before serving.