As obsessions go, cheesecake is not one of mine. But, recently, I had a cheesecake that I actually liked. Here is the recipe from King Arthur’s Flour. I encourage you to read it out loud so you can enjoy saying “zwieback” — just because. Also, for the optional topping, I would simply cook some fresh berries with a bit of sugar. Keep it simple. Or serve fresh berries and not bother with making a sauce.
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs OR zwieback crumbs
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon (1/3 cup) melted butter
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (2 large packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Select a pie pan whose inside top dimension is at least 9″, and whose height is at least 1 1/4″. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Make the crust by stirring together all of the crust ingredients, mixing until thoroughly combined.
- Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan, making a thicker layer on the bottom than on the sides.
- Make the filling by mixing together the room-temperature cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in the eggs and vanilla, again mixing until smooth. To avoid beating too much air into the batter, use a mixer set at low-medium speed. To avoid lumps, make sure the cream cheese is softened, and/or at room temperature.
- Set the pie pan onto a baking sheet, if desired; this makes it easier to transport in and out of the oven, and also protects the bottom of the crust from any potential scorching. Pour the filling into the crust.
- Place the cheesecake in the oven. Bake it for 20 minutes, then add a crust shield; or shield the crust with strips of aluminum foil. Bake for an additional 10 minutes (for a total of about 30 minutes). An instant-read thermometer inserted into the crust 1″ from the edge should read between 165°F and 170°F; the filling won’t look entirely set in the center.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven, and set it on a rack to cool while you make the topping. Once the cake is cool, refrigerate it, covered, until you’re ready to serve it.
- To make the topping, place the frozen raspberries in a bowl to thaw. You can hasten the process with a quick trip through the microwave, but don’t let the berries cook.
- Add 1 tablespoon Pie Filling Enhancer, and stir until well combined. Is the topping as thick as you like? If not, stir in another tablespoon Pie Filling Enhancer.
- Add 1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, to taste. Stir in a pinch of ground cinnamon, if desired.
- Spoon the topping over the cheesecake, and cut slices to serve. Alternatively, cut slices, and top each with a dollop of topping.