Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sour Cream Cheesecake

Back when I used to be athletic (ha), I had a tennis coach who insisted that his mother made the best cheesecake in the world. At the time, my high school taste buds thought the Cheesecake Factory had the best cheesecake I ever tasted, and I was dubious that anyone's homemade version could top that.

And then one day, he gave me an entire 12" cheesecake for me and my family to share.

Laden with berries, the cheesecake he gave us had a sophisticated tinge of...something. I didn't know what it was at the time, but it really was the best cheesecake I ever had.

I suppose I grew up a little that day. I finally understood what "complex flavors" meant--when sweetness is combined with another flavor dimension, it can make something as simple as a cheesecake into a mind-blowing memory.

It's been years since I've talked to my coach, and I recently had a hankering for that cheesecake. The only clue I remembered was that his mother used to work at Draeger's supermarket in Los Altos, so off I went, driving 25 minutes for a figment of my imagination.

When I arrived, I realized how ridiculous it all was. I didn't even know his mother's name. As I gazed at the pastry display case in my stupor, I read the ingredient list for Draeger's cheesecake.
Sour cream.

But of course. Why didn't I figure it out earlier? Whipping out my trusty Blackberry, I searched for a sour cream cheesecake recipe. And right on top was one by Alton Brown that had 5 out of 5 stars by 141 people. Good enough for me. I was going to try this recipe at home.

Sour Cream Cheesecake
recipe adapted from Alton Brown

Oreo crust (you can buy it premade or make your own)

20 oz cream cheese
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1 cup sugar
1 T vanilla
2 eggs
3 yolks
1/3 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

In a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat sour cream for 10 seconds. Add the cream cheese and sugar and mix on low for 30 seconds and then turn up to medium. Scrape the bowl.

In a separate container, combine vanilla, eggs, yolks and heavy cream. With the mixer on medium, slowly pour the mixture in. When half of it is incorporated, stop and scrape. Continue adding the mixture until the rest of the ingredients are incorporated. Once combined, pour into the crust.

Place cheesecake into a preheated water bath, in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Turn the oven off and open the door for one minute. Close the door for one more hour. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and place in the refrigerator for 6 hours to completely cool before serving.


J Dogg said...

What? No review? I guess I'll review it.

The flavor was good and the texture silky. However, I prefer a cheesecake with a denser texture. Also the flavor of the crust was delicious. The acidity of the blackberries balanced the sweetness of the cheesecake made it seem less heavy.

kitchen witch said...

You had me at cheesecake, but when you throw Alton Brown into the mix, I'm all yours. Seriously, that man's a mad genius, so now I have to , must, cannot live without trying this recipe. But what will I do for a crust? I bet Chef Google has some suggestions. And I'm all for a lighter texture. Can't wait. (Good thing it's my birthday so I have a truly valid excuse to dive into this unexpected treat today.)

Anyway, I found you through TasteSpotting and am writing to say that if you have any photos that aren’t accepted there, I’d love to publish them. Visit my new site (below), it’s a lot of fun! I hope you will consider it.


Heather said...

I've had one of these before. WOW are they good. I like your photo A LOT!

oneordinaryday said...

Okay, first of all, I have a huge crush on AB. Second, cheesecake! That's a perfect combination, if you ask me.
This looks beautiful and I love all those fresh berries on top.

Adelina said...

I baked this cheesecake a few days ago and neglected to do a bit more research before attempting to make it. The AB's recipe I got was from the food network website. As of right now, it still says that you bake this for one hour. I did just that and was very undercooked. It does need to bake at least for one hour and a half or so, like you posted the recipe here.

My cheesecake turned out to be mushy, toooooo soft! Also, I think the cheesecake is a bit too "eggy"? Maybe? I probably will do 2 yolks instead of 3.

Thanks for posting this recipe!

fried blue said...

The cake looks just beautiful eatingplum. :)
Am scrapping this now. :)

That's Ron said...