Part XVIII: Shepard’s Prayer
I’m weary. Believe it or not, the soft, pillowy clouds that comprise this weekly/biweekly/whenever the hell I feel like it blog occasionally part and let the bright rays of failure through. For some reason I’ve been bathing in those rays all week, because I’ve suffered a nice, repeating pattern of “oh god everything is smoke I forget what breathing feels like”. And screwing up two things in one week after hours of work leaves you in a bit of a…mood. Mostly the wanting to thrash around the kitchen as a baking sheet-wielding battering ram kind of mood.
So I did what everyone does when they reach this level of despair and desperation…I made a Bobby Flay recipe. Yes, I turned to Mr. Flay, who you may know from his oddly fat face, or from his show Throwdown!, where he systematically ruins the dreams of ernest, small-town chefs across the nation.
-“Mr. Flay, we’ve located a chef in eastern Nebraska who claims to have the best fried pickle recipe in America.”
-“Excellent…let’s make sure he knows he has the second-best.”
I assume what follows is an appropriate amount of hand-wringing and cackling, possibly followed by some sort of ritual involving copious amounts of barbecue sauce and no intentional eye contact. Despite all that, the man makes a damn good Blackberry Cheesecake recipe (his recipe’s actually blueberry, but blackberries are better, we all know this), so I’m gonna make it and add a few things to make it better.
Note: Apparently this is Tyler Florence’s recipe and not Bobby Flay’s. Since I really like that Bobby Flay rant I just wrote up there, I’m gonna leave it anyway. Deal with it.
Here’s what you need:
-30 graham cracker squares
-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1 stick unsalted butter, melted
-2 8-ounce blocks cream cheese, softened
-1 cup sugar
-2 cups greek yogurt
-zest of 1 lemon
-1 tablespoon lemoncello
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-2 tablespoons heavy cream
Blackberry Crap on Top:
-1 pint blackberries
-zest of 1 lemon
-juice of 1 lemon
-2 tablespoons sugar
Here’s how you do it:
Do the fruity part first, you can leave that overnight and pour it on top later. Plus it’s easy.
Put the lemon zest/juice, blackberries and sugar in a small saucepan.
Turn the burner to medium and leave it for 6 or 7 minutes. That’s it.
When the fruit starts to break down a bit, take it off, put it in a container thingy, and pop it in the fridge till the actual cake part’s ready.
Speaking of the cake part, get ready for the difficulty level on this recipe to go from idiotically easy to sudden and flaming death pretty quickly. Well…it’s not quite that severe. But there will be a giant thing of boiling water, and you’ll be carrying it, so get ready for that. Pants. I recommend pants.
Preheat your oven to 325. Then put the ingredients for the crust (no I’m not gonna repeat them, it’s right up there. It’s one scroll away. C’mon now.) in a bowl and mix them together with a fork. Spray a springform pan with cooking spray, and pour the crust in. Use the bottom of a glass or some other flat-bottomed thing to flatten the crust into a…crust. You know what to do, you’re not an idiot.
Stick the crust in the fridge, then start the cheesy part of the cheesecake.
Cream the cream cheese on low in your electric mixer until it’s smooth, should take about a minute.
While the mixer’s still running, add your eggs one at a time until they’re fully combined (obviously, why the hell would you want half-assed eggs). Slowly add the sugar and beat for another 2 minutes, then add the cream, yogurt, lemon zest, limoncello, and vanilla, and keep mixing until combined.
Next, pour the filling into your crust and smooth out the top, because pointy cheesecakes look ridiculous.
Cover the bottom of the springform with aluminum foil like the picture. This is so your cheesecake doesn’t leak all over the bottom of your oven and turn your kitchen into the 8th circle of hell, the circle of slightly lemony smelling smoke.
Here’s the part where you might lose your skin. Put the cake in a large roasting pan, and boil enough water to fill the pan halfway up the springform. Pour the water in, pick up the roasting pan, and OHGODOHGODOHGODDON’TDROPIT over to the oven to bake for 45 minutes.
Let it cool for 30 minutes, then cover it and throw it in the fridge for 4 hours (yes, fatass, you don’t get the cheesecake right away, calm down). After that, take it out, pour the blackberry stuff on top, and shove it all in your face.
Shove some beats in your speakers too to go with that cake. This week I’m goin with something as smooth as the cheesecake: Jazz (We’ve Got) by the ever-imitated A Tribe Called Quest:
So, it turns out the cure to getting yourself in a cooking rut is to nearly kill yourself with boiling water and foil. A baptism by stupidity, if you will. But like I said, there’s something comforting about just settling back, following the rules, and ending up with a plate of tasty. Important advice: sometimes creativity’s gotta take a holiday. See you next time, fans.
Recipe begrudgingly from: