Saturday, December 18, 2010

Miniature Cheesecakes

New York Cheesecakes are creamy, and smooth, and rich, and dense, and absolutely delicious. This is the recipe I use for a large cheesecake but made mini-sized cheesecakes instead this time. You can top them with whatever fruits are in season at the moment. Since we are in December and it's holiday season, I wanted them to look festive. I decided to use fresh currants, currant jam and tiny mint leaves.  

Miniature Cheesecakes

2 cups graham wafer crumbs or finely crushed vanilla wafers or gingersnaps (process whole cookies in a food processor until they are crumbs)
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

4- 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature (use full fat, not reduced or fat free cream cheese)
1 cup granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
5 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
zest of 1 lemon 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream (not low fat or fat free)
3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Grease, or spray with baking spray, 4 mini muffin pans. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center of oven.

For Crust:
In a medium sized bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press the crumbs evenly in each muffin tin over the bottom (I use the botton of a shot glass to press down the crust). Cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.

For Filling:
In bowl of your electric mixer place the cream cheese, sugar, and flour. Beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes), scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (about 30 seconds) after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the whipping cream, lemon zest, vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Remove the crusts from the refrigerator and pour in the filling.

Bake for 15 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees F and continue to bake for about another 20-30 minutes or until firm. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Spread the topping over the warm cheesecakes and return to oven to bake for 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and carefully run a knife inside edge of each to loosen the cheesecakes.

Let cool before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating. This cheesecakes tastes best after being refrigerated for at least a day.

Posted by Luisa

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