One of my favorite desserts is from The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. Although it is called Easter Cheesecake, I make it so often that the book automatically flops open to it’s page. It is not really an “unrecipe” but it is easy and always gets rave reviews. Happy Easter!!
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
¼ chopped walnuts (* I usually substitute pecans)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup (1 stick) melted butter
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add melted butter and toss. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the mixture to top the cake later, and press the remaining evenly into the bottom and about 1 ½ “ up the sides of a 9” round spring form pan.
Conversely, I break a few graham crackers into the bowl of the food processor, toss in the whole nuts and brown sugar, and coarsely chop it all up. I add the cinnamon and the melted butter and mix it again to blend. This isn’t necessarily easier, but it does take away the need to buy the graham crackers and the nuts pre -chopped. Confession: I don’t actually measure this part either!
2 cups sour cream
3 – 8oz. packages of cream cheese
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of one orange
Process the sour cream, cream cheese, eggs, salt and sugar in the food processor until smooth. Add the vanilla and the orange zest and mix to blend.
Pour the mixture into the crust filled pan and bake 50 minutes.
Sprinkle the reserved topping on the cake and bake another 10-15 minutes more. The top may crack, but should not become overly brown.
Cool the cake completely and then remove the sides and refrigerate until ready to serve.
photo: Glasshouse Images