Since it's just me and the roomie, I don't make large desserts often, and cheesecake qualifies as a large dessert. Since I went home this weekend and my mom had friends coming in town today, I decided this would be the perfect chance for me to make a decadent dessert. I decided to use the Hidden Berry Cream Cheese Torte from Dorie Greenspan's Baking from my Home to Yours.
This recipe caught my attention because of the combination of cream cheese and cottage cheese. This is a somewhat lower fat recipe than a normal cheesecake. I did take some liberty in the ingredients. For example, it calls for 9 ounces of cream cheese. Please...tell me where you can buy NINE ounces! SO, I used 8 ounces. Also, I used 33% less fat cream cheese and low fat cottage cheese. Additionally, instead of 2 eggs, I used one egg and the leftover egg whites from the yolks used for the crust...I couldn't stand to waste the whites! Finally, I only used one stick of butter/margarine instead of 1 1/2 sticks in the crust. Apparently, it still tasted good because my mom commented specifically on the crust.
This cheesecake has a really different taste. I thought it had a buttery taste. My dad commented that it was almost custard-like. Both of my parents, after one bite, said it was really good. I think I prefer a graham crust with cheesecake, but Mama liked the shortbread type crust. This was easy to make and a nice change from the often overly rich, traditional cheesecake. Dorie has done it again!
Hidden Berry Cream Cheese Torte
by Dorie Greenspan from Baking from my Home to Yours
3/4 cups AP flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 T) butter (I used 8 T), chilled (I softened mine b/c of the lack of a food processor)
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Butter/spray a 9-inch springform pan. Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse just to blend (I don't have one, so I just used my kitchen aid - it worked just fine!). Toss in the pieces of butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal (I just put the whole stick in). Stir the egg yolks and vanilla together and add to the mixture until the dough comes together in clumps - don't let youself allow a ball to form! Press the dough into the pan. It should come up 1 1/2 inches on the sides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.*
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Fit a piece of aluminum foil against the crust, covering it completely. Fill the crust with rice, dried beans, or pie weights (I didn't do this because I didn't have any of it!). Put in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and bake for another 5 minutes, not letting the crust get to brown (OOPS! I didn't see this but no harm done. I don't think the crust needed the extra time, but then again, my mom's oven runs a little hot).
1/3 cup thick berry or cherry jam (I used strawberry)
9 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature (I used 8 ounces of 1/3 less fat)
9 ounces (1 cup) cottage cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash of ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
2 large eggs
Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Put cream cheese and cottage cheese in a mixing bowl and blend (or in a processor and process) for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times. You should have a satiny mix. Add the sugar, salt, and spices and process/mix for another 30 seconds. With the machine running, add eggs and mix for one minute. Scrape as you need. Spread the jam over the cooked crust, it can still be warm. Pour the cheese mix over the jam.
Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until the filling is uniformly puffed and no longer jiggly. Allow the torte to cool to room temperature. The filling will collapse into a thin layer. Run a blunt knife between the crust and sides of pan. Open and remove the sides of the pan. Chill slightly before serving. You can dust with confectioners' sugar if you like.
*Dorie says that she likes to roll her sweet crusts. To do this, she gathers the dough into a ball, wraps in plastic wrap and refrigerates for 20 minutes. Then she rolls it and places it in the pan and chills again.