Sour Cream Almond Cheesecake with Winter Berry Purées

Sunday May 1, 2016

Cheesecake in the slow cooker? Absolutely and it just might be one of the best I ever made for the texture is fabulous—unbelievably silky with no crack on top like in regular oven cooking. And it cuts into picture-perfect wedges. While I never did a cheesecake for any of the slow cooker books, Food and Wine Magazine asked for one and I got to test it. What a treat! I was hooked! The closed environment of the slow cooker works as a little oven steaming the cake. You will need a 6- or 7-inch springform pan that is 4 inches deep. Be sure to put the paper toweling under the lid, as it absorbs the moisture that would accumulate under the lid and drop back down onto the surface of the cake. And no peeking during the cook time, or you will lose your precious heat, and be sure to only use the high setting. Serve in contrasting pools of two frozen berry purées, one on each side of the little wedge.

Ellie Miller for Food and Wine Magazine

Photo of the cheesecake: Ellie Miller for Food and Wine Magazine

Overview

Cooker: Large Round or oval

Machine Setting and Cook Time: HIGH for exactly 2 hours, then 1 1/2 hours in the turned off machine

Makes one 6- or 7-inch cheesecake, serving 6

Ingredients

Crust

  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons melted butter

Filling

  • 12-ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (8-ounces) sour cream

Instructions

1. Place the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl and add the melted butter; stir with a fork just until moist clumps are formed.  Remove from the bowl and press evenly into the bottom and an inch up the sides of a deep 6- or 7-inch springform pan until firmly packed. Set aside.

2. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.  Adjust the speed to medium and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the almond extract and eggs, mixing well, 2 minutes. Add the sour cream and beat 1 minute, until fluffy; do not over beat at this point. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

3. Place a trivet in a 6-quart slow cooker and add 1/2-inch of water. Do not let the water come over the trivet. Place the filled pan on the trivet and position so the pan does not touch the sides of the crock.  Place a double layer of paper towels on top of the slow cooker and position the lid. Pull the edges taunt so the towels are tight across. Cook on HIGH for exactly 2 hours.

4. Turn off the thermostat, but do not disturb the cover or peek. Let stand until the slow cooker machine is room temperature, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the cover and toweling, then carefully remove the pan; the pan will still be hot to the touch. Cake will be firm when gently shaken. Place on a wire rack to cool completely to room temperature, about 1 1/2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours to overnight.

5. To serve, run a wet knife around the edges and remove sides.  Placing the knife under the cake, lift up slightly and slide off the bottom onto a serving platter.  Store, covered in the refrigerator.  Serve wedges with a small spoonful of each berry purée pooled on the plate.

Created for Food and Wine Magazine.

Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2016

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.


Winter Berry Purées

Each purée makes about 3/4 cup

  • 6-ounces (1/2 a 12-ounce package) each unsweetened frozen raspberries and blackberries or boysenberries
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar, as needed

1. Place the berries in separate bowls and sprinkle each with about a tablespoon of the sugar.  Let stand at least 1 hour at room temperature to defrost and exude some juice.

2. Press each separately through a sieve or food mill to remove seeds.  Refrigerate until serving.


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