As I mentioned in my previous post, I hosted a dinner party last night. Eight guests. For dessert, I made cheescake. I don’t care for cheesecake… er, not sweet tooth except for ice cream and coffee-flavored desserts… but, seeing how most people do, I guessed that the majority of my dinner guests would be pleased to land a hunk of cheesecake on their dessert plate, and so it went…
Truth be told, the reason why I chose to make a desset that I, the host, would not eat is because I saw it in a magazine and it bewitched me. When I saw the shot of the legendary New York Times food writer Craig Claiborne’s Cheesecake published in the April issue of Saveur Magazine, I gasped with sheer delight at its beauty.
Isn’t it a beauty? Forgetting that the entire April isssue was devoted to American cheeses, I thought it was a picture of heavenly Angel Food. The recipe column to its left identified it as “Craig Claiborne’s Cheesecake” (adapted by Maida Heatter in Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts). I winced. My eyes were screaming “I WANT,” but I knew that my tastebuds wouldn’t be as pleased.
No matter, when I saw the short ingredient list and method, I immediately knew that I HAD to make this cake for my guests. I had to adjust the recipe slightly because I only had a 9″ springform instead of an 8″. Also, the recipe required baking the cheesecake first and then adding the crumb crust after by inverting the cake onto a plate, adding the crumbs to the bottom, and then re-inverting the cake right-side-up. Too complicated. Too risky… so I made the graham crust in the traditional wayby pre-baking the crust before adding the cake filling.
Also, because there was more surface area, I cut the baking time by about fifteen minutes. In retrospect, I should have pulled the cheesecake about five minutes earlier than I did as the top was rather dark. Regardless, the cake came out beautifully.
I added the juice of a whole lemon (slightly more than the 3 tablespoons the recipe required). The result was a lemony cheesecake that I thought would pair really well with blueberry sauce (one of my favorite combos). So I simmered down some fresh blueberries with sugar and a splash of lemon juice.
I was so impressed by the result, I had to take a cross-section shot. Here it is:
Not too shabby, eh? According to my guests, it was very “light” (if they only knew what went into it). One of my “cheesecake” expert guests said that it was the best cheesecake she’s ever had. She ended up taking nearly a quarter of it home with her..