jacques pepin\'s cheesecake dessert
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
32 oz cream cheese
room temp
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 whole eggs
12 oz apricot preserves
about 1 jar
2 tbsp water
3 tbsp apricot brandy
1 cup blueberries
could also use a combination of other berries
We celebrated Christmas twice in two different cities in 2012. We flew out to celebrate Christmas Eve with our out of town family. On Christmas Day, we flew back home to celebrate Christmas with our local family. We didn't want to come to the local party empty-handed, but knew that we wouldn't have time to cook anything, so Jacques Pepin's cheesecake was the perfect solution! Since it stores well in the fridge for a few days, we baked, cooled, then chilled it before we left town. When we arrived back home, all we had to do was make the syrup and fruit topping before heading out to the party. Thanks Jacques Pepin for helping us this Christmas!
Set the oven rack in the center position. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Butter the cake pan or souffle dish. Add the crumbs and shake the pan, taking care to coat the sides and bottom of the pan with the crumbs.
Add the cream cheese, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract to the food processor. Mix for 20 seconds.
Add the eggs and mix for another 30 seconds or until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan
Set the cake pan inside a roasting pan. Fill it 2/3 high with water. Bake for 1 hour, then turn off the oven and rest for another hour.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it rest for a few hours before unmolding. You could also store the cake in the fridge, covered, for a few days before unmolding.
Place the serving platter upside down on top of the cake pan and invert.
For the sauce, combine the preserves, water, and brandy in a bowl. Mix until smooth then add the blueberries. Consistency should be thick, but still a little runny. It the sauce is too thin, it will simply spill on to the crust and make it soggy.
Serve each slice of cheesecake with 2-3 tablespoons of sauce. Garnish with mint if using.
source: Jacques Pepin
To make graham cracker crumbs, put the graham crackers in a ziplock bag then crush and roll it with a rolling pin. I usually cut the cake first, then top it with the fruit topping. In making the fruit sauce, make sure that the jam sauce is thick enough to spread over the cheesecake, but not so thin that is runs off the side. Keep runny liquid away from the graham cracker crust to keep it as crisp as possible.