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Spago Cheesecake

Butter Crunch Crust:
4 tablespoon s
1/2 cup
all purpose flour
1/2 cup
chopped pecans or walnuts
2 tablespoon s
brown sugar
1 1/2 pound s
cream cheese, at room temperature, cut into small pieces
1 1/4 pound s
granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon
3/4 cup
sour cream
1 tablespoon
dark rum
1 tablespoon
lemon juice
2 teaspoon s
vanilla extract
  1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the butter crunch with your hands, until the mixture resembles very small pebbles.
  3. Press the Butter Crunch Crust into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan and cover base completely. Wrap heavy-duty foil (or 2 layers of regular foil) around the bottom and up the sides of the pan, pleating to tighten. Bake crust for about 8 minutes until lightly golden.
  4. Make the filling: Place the cream cheese, sugar, and salt in the large bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle or beaters, on medium speed, beat until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides and under the beaters with a rubber spatula. Turn the speed to high and continue to beat until nice and creamy. Stop the machine, add the sour cream, rum, lemon juice, and vanilla, then , on medium speed, continue beating until well blended. Add eggs and beat just until combined. Scrape into the prepared springform pan and set the pan in the center of a larger baking pan. Pour enough hot water into the larger pan to reach about halfway up the sides of the springform pan, but not about the foil.
  5. Carefully place both pans in the oven and bake until the top is lightly golden and slightly firm in the center, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. (Cake will become firmer as it cools.) Remove pans from the oven and carefully lift out the springform pan and place on a rack. Remove foil from pan to help cool the cake. When completely cool, refrigerate, covered, overnight. (The cake should not be served until it is very firm.) Makes one 9-inch cake, serves 10-12

To serve, dip a long, sharp knife into warm water and run the knife around the inside of the springform pan, loosening the cake from the pan. Remove the outer ring. To cut into slices, dip knife into warm water as necessary. Garnish each slice with berries of your choice.

I like a small glass of good late bottled port with cheesecake. (Look for ‘LBV’ port in your wine store.) Or, if you’re celebrating something significant, think about buying a good vintage port and decanting it a few hours before dinner. My favorites are Cockburns and Warre.

Average: 4.4 (19 votes)

About this Recipe

This is a creamy, rich, absolutely delicious cake. The cheesecake should be baked in a bain-marie (water bath), created by placing one pan inside a larger pan and partially filling the larger pan with hot water. When the cake is baked in a springform pan, layers of aluminum foil are wrapped around the pan to prevent water from seeping into the cake.

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