Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Here's the base--cream cheese and sour cream. I like using sour cream in cheesecake. It helps keep the filling moist and from cracking and overbaking. And it just tastes good.
If you like that dense, thick cheesecake like you get from the Cheesecake Factory, then you might want to stick with all cream cheese. The sour cream gives it a little more of a "custard" feel, which I actually prefer, but you may not.
Once your filling is fluffy and beaten together (and you've remembered to scrape the bottoms and sides of your bowl), sweeten things up a bit with some sugar.
I like using the individual spices, rather than buying a premixed pumpkin pie spice. This way, you know how much of each spice you've got, and if there's one you don't like, well, then, you don't have to add much of it. I probably add more cloves than necessary, but I really like my pumpkin desserts spicy.
I love the peaks the mixer makes in the cream cheese. They remind me of fancy crown molding or something.
I never get why there can't just be recipes that use a whole can. I hate throwing part of a can of pumpkin out.
Or they could start selling pumpkins in one-cup measurements. One of those two would make me happy.
Did you remember to scrape the bowl again?
Crack them in one at a time and mix thoroughly after each addition.
The water bath is just one more trick to avoid a) overcooking your cheesecake and b) avoiding the top of your cheesecake from cracking.
You're going to be leaving your cheesecake in the oven for a long time.
It's only going to take 45 minutes for your cheesecake to bake. But you're going to be leaving it in the oven for another two hours. And make sure it cools properly after that.
The cracks are caused by your cheesecake shrinking. The sides of the pan pull against the cheesecake, stretching the top. Cracks can also be caused by overbaking. You want to bake your cheesecakes at a low temperature, and in water bath. The water bath helps the cheesecake cook evenly so the outside doesn't cook faster than the inside, and it also keeps moisture in the air that prevents the tops ffrom drying out.
My natural light was fading, so they look darker than they really were.