We’re heading to Portland this weekend to visit friends.  A very short trip but I am sure it will be quite sweet.  I really want to bring along my baking book, Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson, and have this wonderful lady sign it.  I think we will make a stop by the bakery and hope that she just might be there on a Saturday morning.  Scott doesn’t know I have this already planned.  I’m sure he’s just as excited.  NOT!  Anyways.  I love this book, I love Portland, I love my friends, I love the people I have met who live in Portland, so on and so forth.  I also have another little trick up my sleeve for this weekend but I can’t say.  A sort of treasure hunt.  That is all.

I made this cheesecake for dessert last weekend when we had friends over for Mexican   Not that cheesecake is exactly Mexican cuisine but the addition of extra hot pepper jelly sort of added that flair.  It was good with the cheesecake but the plum jam, that one of our guests brought, was a far better accompaniment.  This turned out creamy and delicious.  Sure, it could stand on it’s own but that’s like serving cheese…and just cheese.  It wasn’t overly sweet so the jam was just right.  Did I mention that I made the graham crackers for the crust as well?  Well I did.  And it is worth it.  Now I have graham cracker crumbs leftover for other uses.  Just halve the graham cracker recipe and you’ll still have quite a bit leftover.  For instance, you could sprinkle leftover crumbs on yogurt.  Make more crusts for various pies.  Make s’mores bars.



1  cup graham cracker crumbs

2  1/2  tablespoons melted unsalted butter

1  1/2  tablespoons sugar


3  pounds cream cheese, room temperature

1  1/2  cups sugar

1  cup sour cream, room temperature

7  eggs, room temperature

2  egg yolks, room temperature

1/4  teaspoon salt

2  tablespoons lemon zest

Preheat oven to 325F.  Wrap the outside of a 9″ springform pan with aluminum foil to make waterproof.  Butter the bottom of the pan.  In a small bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar.  Press into bottom of pan.  In a stand mixer, preferably 6 quart, beat the cream cheese until soft and creamy.  Add the sugar and mix.  Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl and add sour cream, mixing thoroughly.  Add eggs to mixer one at a time, mixing thoroughly on low speed.  Scrape sides and bottom of bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.  Scrape again, making sure that all ingredients are fully combined.  Pour batter into pan and set pan in a roasting pan.  Pour in enough water to come 1/3 up the side of the springform pan.  Being careful not to slosh the water around too much, carefully place in preheated oven.  Bake in water bath @ 325F for 60-90 minutes.  I ended up baking for 90 minutes because my oven is a bit slow.  You want a nice light brown top but no cracks. Cool completely on wire rack and refrigerate overnight.  Enjoy!

You could make this crustless and have gluten free cheesecake.  Win!

6 thoughts on “Cheesecake

  1. I love the new name. I like that it captures the kerouac-esque feel feel of the words “whisky drinking chimney sweep.”

    The cheesecake looks good too. Have fun in Portland! Treasure hunts are THE BEST. Once my dad was away for a long time on business and half-way through his trip, my parents (I guess, my mom) rolled a ball of yarn through the entire house and it ended it up (as I eventually discovered) in my room, next to a brand new goldfish bowl with a goldfish in it. It was the highlight of my young life.

    • Thank you! I love treasure hunts. Portland is a magical place. It loans itself to hunts of all sorts.

    • It was quite delicious though the sweetness/savoriness wasn’t balanced. Not sweet enough, surprisingly. I think if I were to make a sauce, by warming the pepper jelly and stirring in some agave, it would have been just right.

      • Now you’re just lobbying for Nobel status. Spicy-sweet sauce on a slice of rich, creamy cheesecake sounds like the type of thing that could forge peace between warring nations.

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