The first cheesecake that I ever made was from this recipe. I was a teenager and discovering the power of baking. I was greatly influenced by my own mother and many family members who enjoy baking. My cousin made a cheesecake like dessert with fruit on top, possibly called fruit pizza that was just delicious and then, at another family event, my aunt made a cheesecake. Cheesecake to this point had not been part of my family's dessert experience but this cheesecake caused a buzz around the family - recipes were exchanged and cheesecakes were made. My mom purchased a springform pan and made a fruit topped cheesecake for a luncheon with friends that was so rich, delicious, heavy and dense. I couldn't wait to try it myself. It was an empowering concept that I could make, really make, any of the wonderful desserts listed in a cookbook especially being a teenage girl who loved sweets this was nearly nirvana. From those early days of exploring to today, baking and cooking are sweet moments of creativity expressed with love.
Manhatten Style Cheesecake
2/3 cup butter softened
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 egg yolk
zest of 1/2 of a lemon
In a mixer bowl beat butter, flour, sugar, egg yolk, and lemon zest until mixed.
Shape into disc and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Press dough into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan.
Bake for 8 minutes and set aside to cool.
24 ounces or three 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons milk
1 egg yolk
zest of 1 small lemon
Reduce oven temperature to 375 F.
In stand mixer with paddle, beat cream cheese at medium speed until smooth.
Slowly beat in sugar.
Scrape bowl, and with mixer at low speed add remaining ingredients flour, milk, eggs, egg yolk, and lemon zest.
Beat for 5 minutes at medium speed.
Pour cream cheese batter into pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 300 F and bake for 20 minutes.
Turn oven off and leave cheesecake in oven for 20 minutes.
Remove and cool in pan on a wire rack.
Chill for 2 hours or until cold.
Top with Chocolate Ganache or
2 large kiwis sliced thin
1/2 pint strawberries sliced thin
Arrange fruit in a pleasing design on top
Brush 2 tablespoons apple or apricot jelly melted over low heat.