Wish Upon A Dish: Chicken dinner and today is dessert making day

August 5, 2010

Chicken dinner and today is dessert making day

I am making a buttermilk cheesecake right now, finally using up the last of my plums. Since I only had a cup left I chopped them fine and added them right to the cheesecake filling. I will use the red and gold syrups to decorate the top.
I wanted a sour cream type filling, but did not have enough goat cheese, nor did I want to waste my Coach cheese on something that might not come out well.
I have been baking cheesecakes for 40 years, selling them to small bars and pubs since I was 30. I still take orders from old clients and friends and every Christmas I bake 8 of them to give out as gifts, like people would bring a plate of cookies, I bring a cheesecake.
I have gotten so good at it, I can bake them right in the cookie tins so I just cover them, bow them and tag them. It's easy to ship in the winter, no refrigeration required.
Last year was Mint Chocolate Chip, then Espresso, the year before that it was Pumpkin and The Nudge requested Baileys Irish Creme.

They were all good but the best one to date was the red (raspberry), white (regular) and blue (blueberry) I made to bring to a picnic. They still talk about that cheesecake. It's a legend & I forgot to write down the proportions of fruit jams to cheesecake filling. I do know one thing, I used sour cream for the first time in my cheesecake baking career and the fruits went well with that tartness.
That's why I am making this one tart also, but because I did not have any sour cream and had a half a quart of buttermilk, you can guess the rest.

Plum Buttermilk Cheesecake
Serves 12

* 1 cup chocolate graham bears, crushed
* 2 tablespoons sugar or Splenda
* 3 tablespoons melted butter

Cheesecake Filling:

* 8 oz mascarpone cheese, room temperature (overnight ideal)
* 1 brick cream cheese (no-fat, low-fat, regular - pick your choice), room temperature with mascarpone
* 2 tablespoons brown sugar or Splenda brown sugar blend
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar or Splenda
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup buttermilk
* 3 egg whites or 3/4 cup egg substitute
* 1 cup maserated and pureed red plums + accumulated juices

1. Turn oven on to 350F. Place graham cracker mix in an aluminum cake pan, pressing down evenly on the bottom. I am not going up the sides with this crust.
2. In electric mixer bowl, cream cheeses with sugars. Add extract and buttermilk. When blended with no lumps, add plums and eggs, blend till pink streaks are incorporated.
3. Bake crust for 10 minutes, remove and cool.Turn oven down to 300F. Pour in cake filling into pan and on a cookie sheet, bake for 50 minutes. Middle should be slightly wobbly like jello when it's set.
4. Shut oven off with pan still inside. Crack the door 1" and leave it in for 1 hour.
5. Remove and cool on table, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Squirt syrups on top and save some for plate decoration.
6. Remove from fridge at least 15-20 minutes before serving. Heat knife in glass of hot water before slicing and clean between each slice.
7. Cook's Tip : If you want a bigger cheesecake, double the recipe and bake it in a springform pan, same oven temp but for 1 hour 15 minutes. The rest is the same. I find this size is good in the summer, because people are eating smaller portions.

This got a thumbs up from both of us. The Nudge said it's light and tart and sweet and perfect for the summer. He even asked for a piece to take to work for lunch, but changed his mind 'cuz he would fall asleep if he ate this at work.

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