Original Plain Cheesecake with Caramelized Pineapple

YIELD: 1 (8-INCH) SPRINGFORM CHEESECAKE PAN / 12 SERVINGSpineapplecheesecake

1. Prepare the Shortbread Crust (see recipe below) in 2 –  8-inch cake pans. Follow the recipe as directed.
2. Prepare the Caramelized Pineapple (see recipe below). Follow the recipe as directed.
3. Prepare the Original Plain batter (see recipe below). Follow the recipe as directed.
4. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Divide the Original Plain batter evenly among the 2 cake pans. Generously grease and flour the springform pan. Place the 2 full circles of pineapple in the center of each cake and arrange the remaining slices in concentric rings starting
around the outer edge and working toward the center.
5. Place the filled cake pans in the center of the oven, directly on the middle shelf. Bake for 20 minutes.
6. Reduce the oven temperature to 200°F. Leave the cake pans in the oven for 30 minutes more, until both cakes jiggle slightly in the center. (This step allows the cheesecake to continue cooking slowly and gently, preventing cracking.) Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.
7. Loosen the springform rings from the pans by sliding an offset spatula around the inside of each pan. Remove the springform rings and transfer the cakes, with the pan bottoms still in place, to plates. Using a pastry brush, finish the tarts by gently brushing the pineapple with the reserved caramel. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight before serving.
8. Transfer the cheesecake to serving plates and place in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours before slicing.
9. Slice the cheesecake with a thin, nonserrated knife that is dipped in hot water and wiped dry after each slice. Serve immediately or store in the freezer well wrapped for up to 3 months.

PineappleSteps

Caramelized Pineapple

YIELD: ENOUGH TO DECORATE 1 (8-INCH) CHEESECAKE
1 fresh whole pineapple
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar

1. Prepare the pineapple by trimming away its outer skin using a sharp paring knife. Turn the pineapple on its side and cut it lengthwise from top to bottom. Then,
cut a second slit right next to the first cut, forming a long, skinny “V” shaped wedge. Once the “V” shaped wedge has been made, remove and discard the wedge. Repeat the process, in the end making 6 wedge cuts in the fruit. This creates a fringed effect on the edges of the pineapple. Do not core the pineapple.
2. In a sauté pan large enough to hold the whole pineapple over medium heat, combine the sugar and butter. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, until caramelized to a light amber color.
3. Reduce the heat to very low and carefully place the pineapple in the caramel. Cook, turning frequently and basting the caramel syrup over the pineapple, for about 10 minutes, until the caramel has completely saturated the pineapple. Remove from the heat.
4. Remove the pineapple from the pan and set it aside on a plate to cool.
5. Cut the pineapple into 1/8-inch-wide slices and core each slice using a small, round cookie cutter. Set aside one whole round slice to use as the center piece of each cake and cut the remaining slices in half.
6. Place the pineapple half slices on the cake making an outside circle first, with the ruffled edge of the pineapple slices facing the sides of the pan. Continue placing the slices in concentric circles on the cake, creating a flower shape. Finish with the reserved whole slice of pineapple, creating the cake’s center.

 

Shortbread Crust

YIELD: 2 (8- OR 9-INCH) SPRINGFORM BOTTOM CRUSTS

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and confectioners’ sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.
2. Add the salt and vanilla and beat on low speed until the mixture is fully incorporated.
3. Add the flour and beat on low speed until the mixture is fully incorporated and the dough comes together.
4. Shape the dough into a disc. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.
5. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Use the pan(s) as a template and trim the dough to fit the pan(s).
7. Grease the pan(s). Carefully lay the disc(s) of dough inside the pan(s) and press down, fitting evenly. Using a fork, dock the dough to ensure even baking.
8. Place the pan(s) in the center of the oven, directly on the middle shelf. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

 

 

 

Eli’s Original Plain Cheesecake

YIELD: 1 (9-INCH) SPRINGFORM CHEESECAKE / 12 SERVINGS
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large whole eggs, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
3/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Prepare the Shortbread Crust (recipe above) and set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the stand mixer bowl to prevent lumps from forming.
3. In a separate medium mixing bowl, combine the sugar, cake flour, and salt. Stir until well combined.
4. Add the contents of the medium mixing bowl to the bowl of the stand mixer and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the stand mixer bowl and continue beating on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
5. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Slowly add first the whole eggs and then the egg yolk to the bowl, one at a time. After adding each, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Continue beating on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture is fully incorporated.
6. Add the sour cream and the vanilla to the bowl of the stand mixer and beat on low speed for 1 minute, until the mixture is smooth. The mixture should be well blended, but not overbeaten.