This was the "Tuesdays with Dorie" recipe of the week for January 30, 2008. I didn't get around to making it then, but really wanted to try it -- especially after browsing through all the luscious pictures posted by the other TWD bakers!
It was even better than the pictures!
Since we really don't need the gazillion calories in a whole cheesecake, I made a half recipe. The original recipe calls for a 9-inch springform, so what I would need is a 9 x 0.707 inch pan. Well, I don't have a 6.363 inch round pan, so I decided to round up to a 7-inch pan. That was a good choice, as it turns out -- the batter filled the pan almost to the top. No way would it have fit into a 6-inch pan.
I followed the recipe pretty much as written, making a lime-flavored version and using a graham-cracker crust. I used mostly regular cream cheese with a little Neufchatel cheese (lower-fat) and a mixture of about one part sour cream to two parts heavy cream. I wrapped the bottom of the pan in one layer of extra-heavy-duty foil. My, this is a "leisure-loving" cheesecake! Even with half a recipe, it took almost an hour and a half to bake in its water bath -- then it lolled around for another hour in its little "spa" in the oven, then it chilled out overnight in the fridge. Well worth waiting for, though!
Mine didn't get all that brown on the top. It didn't crack while baking, but split a bit while cooling. No water leaked in through the extra-heavy foil, but my graham cracker crust was still kind of soggy. I think it soaked up water from the cheesecake batter itself. Maybe I'll try something different next time. Rose Levy Beranbaum suggests pressing the crumbs onto the bottom and sides of the cheesecake after baking, but that sounds just too fussy (and also difficult) for me.
Perhaps I should make a specialty of "bare-bottomed" cheesecake. That's especially appropriate since our very small town used to be chiefly known for the (in)famous nude beach located some miles north of town. I'll call it the "Mazo Beach Bare-bottomed Cheesecake!"
Mazomanie is moving up in the world, though. Recently we were named one of the "Ten Coolest Small Towns in America" by Budget Travel magazine. Yay for us!
In the meantime, we still have a stash of frozen cheesecake to get us through the winter. (I'm pleased to report that this cheesecake freezes beautifully.)