So Many Cheesecakes, So Little Time!
October 22, 2013
Posted By: Shaunescy
Here is a twist on a classic. May I present to you, the French Cheesecake!
I had never heard of a French Cheesecake but when I went poking around on my favorite food blog's Facebook page, Leite's Culinaria , this was suggested. The crust is similar to a traditional pie crust but it is sweeter and richer. But the real surprise, the 'je ne sais quoi' about this recipe is the custard filling. It is in perfect balance. I mean, it's cheesecake - so one expects a certain amount of heft to it, yet it is delightfully fluffy, too. Ooh, la-la!
I asked my most French friend if she had a tried and true French Cheesecake recipe as it was new to me. To which she replied, "Non! There is no such thing! C'est tout." I tell you this because I want you to be culinarily informed that although not as well known as le french-fry, french-cheesecake may be as Gallic as fried chicken.
So here is a link to the recipe that I started with:
It is a wonderful step-by-step recipe tutorial that you should look at.
But I made some drastic modifications. I used the whole crust recipe, but halved the filling. You see, I wanted to use my significantly shallower, tart pan for a couple of reasons.
- Tart pans are nice looking and versatile. You can buy one for about $3.00 at the dollar value store.
- It's a great way to test out recipes that you may want to make as individual desserts in ramekins. (3 for a dollar)
Think about holiday entertaining! It's coming folks and I have a vision of a personalized cheesecake party. Set up with a variety of toppings; chopped nuts, fruit sauces, caramel. Make it a pot-luck and the guests have to bring a topping.
For the crust
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter (that’s 1 stick), softened
1 egg yolk
2 Tbls. sugar
For the cheesecake filling
1/2 lb. cream cheese
1/2 Tbls. flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated (you’ll need both the yolks + the whites)
4 Tbls. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Butter your Tart pan or spray it with oil, then set it aside.
Cut the butter into the flour with a fork. It should look crumbly. Add in the egg yolk and sugar. This will make the dough for the crust smooth and pliant but not sticky. Add a tiny bit more flour if it is.
Cut it in half. Put half aside. (You will use this to make the sides of the crust after you've prepped the filling.)
You are now going to press one half of the dough into the bottom of the pan. You do it by pinching off a little piece at a time and trying to get the whole of the bottom covered. Kids love helping with this. They are play-doh masters, so enlist their help!
This technique is also known as a press-crust. Bake it until the edges start to slightly turn brown.
Reduce the heat to 350 degrees.
Cream together: Cream cheese, flour and sugar. Mix in 2 egg yolks, the cream and vanilla. This will be smooth and supple. Also at this point, you should be having that "oh yes!" it is going to be awesome feeling.
In a separate bowl, Beat the 2 egg whites until they form stiff peaks. This will take about 2 minutes with a good whisk.
Gently fold the egg whites into the rest of the custard filling.
Press the rest of the dough around the edge of your tart pan. If you are making individual ramekins - just do the bottom and don't bother with the sides.
Pour the filling into the crust. Pop it into the oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, but watch carefully. You want to remove it when the top looks like the picture you see at the beginning of this post. But, the center should be somewhat jiggly! It will continue to cook as is cools on the counter.
All my best, BunnyFufu ~ The Housewife