Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Creamy Vanilla-Orange Cheesecake

This "Creamsicle®" cheesecake features vanilla extract plus Fiori di Sicilia and orange zest, giving it wonderfully bright flavor. It's perfect topped with summer fruit. (Note: I have got to make this for John!)

Crust
    * 3/4 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
    * 1 cup almond flour or finely ground almonds
    * 1/2 cup confectioners' or glazing sugar
    * 1/4 teaspoon salt
    * 6 tablespoons soft butter

Filling
    * three 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
    * 1 1/2 cups sugar
    * 5 large eggs
    * 1/2 cup cream or half & half
    * 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    * 1/4 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia
    * zest of 1 medium orange or lemon

Topping
    * 1 1/2 to 2 cups cherry or blueberry pie filling or topping, or fresh fruit

Directions

1) To make the crust: Whisk together the flour, almond flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt.

2) Mix in the butter until evenly crumbly.

3) Press into a 9" to 10" springform pan, pushing firmly up the sides. Prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Chill in the freezer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or so, while you preheat the oven to 375°F.

4) Remove from the freezer, and bake for 14 to 16 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned at the edges. Set aside to cool while you make the filling.

5) To make the filling: Slowly mix the cream cheese and sugar until well blended, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl.

6) Mix in the eggs one at time, then the cream, flavorings, and zest.

7) Pour the filling into the baked crust, and reduce the oven heat to 325°F. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until the cheesecake is set around the edges (a 4" to 5" circle in the center will remain soft).

8) Turn the oven off, prop the door open, and let the cheesecake sit for an hour.

9) Run a knife or spatula around the edges. Cool for several hours.

10) Just before serving, top as desired.

Yield: about 20 servings.
   
Recipe summary

Hands-on time:
    45 mins. to 55 mins.
Baking time:
    50 mins. to 60 mins.
Total time:
    1 hrs 45 mins. to 4 hrs
Yield:
    about 20 servings

Tips from our bakers
    * To make plain vanilla cheesecake, omit the Fiori di Sicilia, and increase the vanilla extract to 1 tablespoon. 



source: King Arthur e-mail newsletter
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