Cheesecake II


Hello gentle readers, it’s been a while. This hiatus wasn’t intentional. Blogs and dishes were planned… beautiful plans. But the stars of the universe fell out of alignment and re-arranged themselves into the “FUCK YOU” constellation. I got sick. I injured my wrists. Life sucked.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

The only hope laid in a single block of cream cheese left in the refrigerator. It was time for the return of the cheese cake. This time I know how to make it right. And as always, there is a twist to the theme: a fusion dessert between a cheese cake and an apple crisp. Cinnamon crust, creamy vanilla cheese cake filling, spiced apple topping. It’s time to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and I’m health conscious so I chose to chew sugar-free Trident gum instead.
Ingredients

No spread this time, so you're just going to have to reverse engineer the ingredients from this photo instead. Good luck.

Total Time: 3-8 hours (depending on how you’re counting)

Crust:

20 squares of graham crackers, crushed
6 tbsp rolled oats*
2 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp butter/margarine, melted
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon

*Do not used instant oats. Rolled oats may also be known as old-fashioned oats.

Filling:

One 8 oz block cream cheese, room temperature*
8 tbsp sour cream, room temperature
6 tbsp white granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg + 1 egg yolk, with yolks and whites separated, room temperature**
2 tbsp cream or half-and-half***
1 tsp vanilla extract

*Allow 3-4 hours at least to bring these ingredients to room temperature.
**This isn’t essential, but I’m told by TL poster fire_brand that it results in a lighter filling.
***This also isn’t essential, but makes beating eggs easier.

Topping:

2 medium crisp apples, such as Fuji or Granny Smith
Juice of 1/2 lemon or 1/2 orange
3 tbsp brown sugar*
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tbsp flour
6 tbsp of water, as needed**
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

*This is for Fuji apples. You may need 4-5 tablespoons of sugar for a tart apple such as Granny Smith.
**More or less, depending on desired thickness of sauce.

You will also need: A (preferably two) muffin tin mold, at least two somewhat large bowls, a small pot, among other things.

Cooking

We begin with the filling. Take your pieces of graham crackers and stick them into a sturdy bag, such as that of the Zip-loc variety. Then either using your fingers or some other implement, crush the graham crackers into tiny bits. You can also beat them into submission with a rolling pin if you are feeling particularly violent.

If you have a bomb shelter, simply place the crackers in a small pile in the center of the bomb shelter, toss a grenade into the bomb shelter, and close the door. Let the grenade do the work.

In a separate container, melt the butter. You can do this in a microwave by microwaving at 5 second intervals and swishing the melted butter around until everything is melted. Add your tiny graham cracker bits and all the other ingredients.

This flour looks like cocaine cut with feta cheese. But it's flour. Really.

Mix thoroughly. Preheat your oven to 300F (150C). Butter your muffin tin and spoon about 3 tablespoons of this mixture into each mold. Using a spoon or a small butter bowl (what I used), press the mixture into a hollow bowl shape against the sides of the mold.

Possibly the most annoying step in making mini-cheesecakes. A lot less annoying with practice, but still annoying.

Bake these crusts by themselves for 7 minutes. Meanwhile, onto the filling! You can use a mixer or do the filling by hand. Making the filling by hand is obviously more difficult but not impossible, especially if the ingredients are softened at room temperature. Measure out 8 tablespoons or 1/2 cup of sour cream into a bowl. Mix this by itself for a bit so that you coat your bowl with sour cream, which will prevent cream cheese from sticking to the sides of your bowl. Dump your block of sour cream into the midst of sour cream, and mash everything together.

White-on-white dairy product action. What luck, to not be born lactose intolerant!

Somewhere along the line, when sour cream and cream cheese have intertwined themselves into a near congruous mass, add sugar. The sugar will lighten and somewhat fluff up this mixture. While you are doing the mixing, especially by hand, your blind-baked crusts may be ready. Remove them from the oven. If at this time your filling mixture is already done, do not pour it into the molds right away! Let the molds sit for at least 5 minutes to cool down, or it will instantly cook the part of the filling that touches it, and you will receive the game-over screen have a disaster-flavored cheese cake, which doesn’t taste very good.

I know I listed "cream" on the ingredient list, but your mother just happened by, and I noticed she was lactating... two for two, yeah?

Now prepare (or add to your cream cheese/sour cream mixture) your beaten, separated egg yolks and egg white. You can add a bit of half-and-half or cream to the egg parts at this time to make it easier to beat. Add the eggs, salt, and vanilla extract to your filling. Mix everything until smooth.

I was kidding about the above image caption. The flavor of this cheesecake would be totally ruined if I added sour milk. MUHAHAHA

While you are doing all this, you will want to reduce the oven temperature to 250F (120C) and prepare a pan filled partially with water as a water bath. Filling your muffin molds to the brim with cheese cake filling. Bake for about 25 minutes.

Okay, I was kidding about the above comment also. I'm sure your mother is a very nice woman. And if she smacked you while you were young, well, you deserved it.

After 25 minutes, check your cheese cake. It should still appear soft, but solid. At this time turn off your oven heat and leave the door open for about a minute. Then, close the door and leave the cheesecakes in the oven for another hour. This will let the cheesecakes finish cooking to perfection.

Meanwhile, you can start on your spiced apple topping! First juice your lemon/orange into a container. This is so you can dunk your apple pieces into the juice as soon as they are chopped to prevent oxidation (browning). Peel and core your apples.

Have you seen how Sakai peels his apples on Iron Chef? He uses his chef knife, does it 3x faster than I do it with the small knife which is what most people use, it's fucking ridiculous.

Chop them into bite-sized pieces (preferably 1/2 inch, or even smaller than what I have chopped here). Dump them into the citrus juice and toss them around. Add all the spices, flour, salt, and sugar. Mix together. Chill for at least half an hour to marinate.

When people call other people the apple of their eye, I wonder if they think of all the terrible things we do to apples that involve sharp objects or intolerable heat levels.

Take your apples out of the refrigerator. Cook your apples over medium heat until the sauce starts to thicken, then add as much water as needed to thin out the sauce and partially cover most of the apple pieces. Once the liquid comes to a boil, bring the heat down to low. Put a lid over your apples and simmer them for 8 minutes or so. The steam will cook through your apples. Add water as necessary.

Let me just say here that apple sauce tastes like shit. Apples have nice texture as well as nice flavor. It's like bacon in that way. Would you puree bacon into bacon sauce? Of course not, you lose the crispy texture. Don't fucking puree your apples and make it into mush.

Once the apples are cooked to your desired texture remove them from the heat and set aside. At this point in time your cheesecakes may have finished cooking. Deposit them into the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour. If, like me, you have only a single muffin tin, you may move onto making your second batch of cheese cakes. Otherwise, top your chilled cheesecakes with your spice apples and enjoy.

The Result

Cheese, or cake? Cheese, or cake? For millenia have men struggled to answer this question. But now, you can have both at the same time.

4.9 / 5  Cheesecakes are one of those things that take a long time to make, but the procedure is rather easy and fool-proof to producing a great tasting product. It is also flexible enough to allow for easy experimentation. In this case, apple crisp cheese cake. Apples are one of the cheapest fruits in the United States, next to bananas, navel oranges, and occasionally grapefruit. To work them into a cheesecake is a natural step in the logic of a budget cook. If you have most of these ingredients in your house, consider investing in a bit of cream cheese and sour cream to make this dessert. You won’t regret it.

Conclusion

…Thus man and cake were united, first at the lips, then through the esophagus, and then into a bath of hydrochloric acid, then…. the tale doesn’t end happily every after and becomes a bit disgusting. Well, at least the beginning of the tale is deliciously sweet. And what more can you ask for? We’re born with taste buds on the tongue and not around the rectum for a reason. The end. Happy cooking!

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