The Ultimate Cheesecake

My mother passed this recipe to me many years ago.  It is the richest cheesecake that you can make.  I save it for special occasions when I want to share a show stopping dessert that tops off a dinner or a party.  I have included a recipe for a pineapple glaze, or you can thickly spread sour cream on top. Or if you want to make this for Christmas as I did this year I put candied cranberries on top. Ether way this  cheesecake is the star of the show!

Crust:

1 cup sifted flour, King Arthur Flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg yolk

1/4 cup butter, softened

Filling:

5 pkg.(8-oz) cream cheese softened, Philadelphia cream cheese

1 3/4 cups sugar

3 tablespoon flour

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

1 1/2 grated orange peel

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

5 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks

1/4 cup heavy cream

Pineapple Glaze:

2 tablespoon sugar

4 teaspoon cornstarch

2 cans(8 1/4-oz) crushed pineapple in heavy syrup, undrained

2 tablespoon lemon juice

Sugared cranberries

2 cups fresh cranberries

1 1/2 cups sugar, divided

1 cup water

Preheat over to 400F.  Grease the inside of 9-inch springform pan(3 inches high). Remove side.  Make crust:  In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, lemon, peel, vanilla.  Make well in center; with fork, blend in yolk and butter.  Mix with fingertips until smooth. Form half of dough into a ball and place on bottom of springform pan. Place wax paper on top; roll pastry to edge of pan.  Remove paper. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until golden.  Cool.  Meanwhile divide rest of dough into three parts.  Between waxed paper roll each part 2 1/4 inch wide and 9 inch long. Assemble springform pan with the crust on the bottom. Line sides fo the pan with pastry strips, over lapping ends. Remove waxed paper.  Preheat oven 450F.

Filling: In large mixer bowl, blend cheese, sugar, flour, peels and vanilla at high speed.  Beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time: beat until smooth, occasionally scraping bowl with spatula.  Beat in cream.  Pour into pan.  Bake 10 minutes. Lower oven to 250F. Bake 1 hour longer.  Remove pan to rack to cool, 2 hours. Make glaze.

Glaze: In small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in remaining ingredients. Over medium heat, bring to boiling, stirring; boil 1 minute, or until thickened and translucent.  Cool.

Spread surface of cheese cake with glaze; refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

Sugared Cranberries: Bring 1 cup sugar and water to a simmer in a saucepan. Simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. Pour simple syrup into a heatproof bowl and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Add cranberries and stir to coat. Refrigerate cranberries in syrup overnight, stirred a couple times to coat with syrup. 

Remove cranberries from syrup and roll in remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. You’ll need to roll them a few times to get a couple layers of sugar on them.

Set cranberries aside to dry for a hour or so.

To serve: Loosen pastry fro side of pan with spatula.  Remove sides of springform pan.  Top with either Pineapple glaze or sugared cranberries. Serves 16

Enjoy!

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