Thursday, August 03, 2006

Icebox Cheesecake

Here is my husband's favorite dessert, Icebox Cheesecake. I make it just for him and he eats a piece every night until it is gone. Every new bite is followed by, "Oh, this is good. It get's better every time." I can't resist the compliments! Try it for yourself.

For the crust:
1 ¼ graham cracker crumbs (about 8 full crackers)
5 TBS melted butter
1 TBLS sugar

Mix ingredients together and press firmly into a 9” spring form pan. Bake until fragrant and browning, 10-15 minutes. Let cool on a wire wrack for 1/2 an hour before making the filling.

1 ½ cups heavy cream
2 ¼ tsp. unflavored gelatin (1 envelope)
2/3 cups sugar
1 pound cream cheese, cut into rough 1” chunks and softened at room temperature for 30-45 minutes
2 TBS fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. grated lemon zest

Whisk ¼ cup of the cream and the unflavored gelatin together and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Microwave until cream is bubbling and the gelatin has completely dissolved, 30 to 60 seconds.
Beat the remaining 1 ¼ cups cream and sugar together at medium speed until soft peaks form, 2-4 minutes. Add the cream cheese and continue to beat until combined (a few small lumps are fine), about 1 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Beat in the lemon juice, vanilla, and salt.
Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until the mixture is smooth and thoroughly combined, about 3 minutes. Beat in the dissolved gelatin mixture and lemon zest until smooth and airy, about 2 more minutes. Pour the filling into the cooled crust and smooth the top. Refrigerate until fully set, about 6 hours.
Un-mold from spring form pan by sliding a knife around the edges. Serve with strawberry, blackberry or chocolate sauce.

This is an America’s Test Kitchen recipe and it should be followed exactly. No low-fat substitutes and be careful with the gelatin. The first time I made this, I didn’t let the gelatin dissolve long enough and the cheesecake was filled with rubbery lumps.

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