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Trader Vic's Cheesecake

CHEESECAKE

Trader Vic's Restaurant Recipe

Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
2 pounds cream cheese (4-8 oz. packages), at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon finely vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
3 large eggs

Topping:
2 cups sour cream
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
fresh berries, for garnish
Raspberry Sauce (recipe follows), optional for serving
Apricot Sauce (recipe follows), optional for serving

To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 by 13 inch pan with aluminum foil, allowing at leat a 2 inch overhand of the foil on the short ends of the pan, this will help you remove the finished cheesecake from the pan. In a medium bowl, combine the crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon and stir. Pour the batter over the crumb mixture and stir to combine. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom on the prepared pan. Bake until the crust is set and smells toasty, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

To make the cheesecake, lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cheese, sugar, lemon zest, orange zest, and vanilla until light and smooth. Add the sour cream and then the eggs, one at a time. Beat at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour over the coolled crumb crust. Set the pan on a sturdy baking sheet and bake until the center is just set, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.

To top the cheesecake, in a small bowl, stir together the sour cream and lemon juice. Pour over the still warm cheesecake. Return the cake to the oven and bake until the sour cream topping is set and looks shiny, about 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm.

To serve, remove the cake from the pan by firmly grasping one end of the foil, tilt the pan toward the end you are holding and gently lift and slide the cake onto a cutting board. Carefully peel away the foil, if the cake sticks to the foil, release it with a thin bladed knife. Using a thin, sharp knife dipped in hot water and dried with a towel, cut the cheesecake . Arrange the squares decoratively oon a large platter and scatter with berries. Serve at room temperature. Or serve on individual plates with bowls of raspberry and apricot sauce.

Raspberry Sauce:
2 cups raspberries
2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a blender or food processor, combine the raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice and puree until smooth. Taste and add more sugar if too tart. Using the back of a ladel, press the puree through a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl, discard the seeds. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Makes about 1 cup.

Apricot Sauce: 
1 pound fresh apricots
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup water

In a saucepan combine the apricots, sugar, lemon juice, and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the apricots are very tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Taste and add more sugar if too tart. Using the back of a ladel, press the puree through a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl. Discard the peel and pulp. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Makes about 2 cups.

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