Holiday Baking

Tis the season to be jolly & holiday baking does just that!

Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Saint Nicholas Day, Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Lucia Day, Kwanzaa, the message is the same. It is a celebration of a miracle that resulted in a celebration geared toward love, sharing and respect for everyone. Also associated with the celebrations are good fellowship and indulging on enormous amounts of decadent food. Why the food is so important is unknown.

A few years back, Chef Mike entered a holiday baking contest sponsored by a local television station and food market. In the deserts/cake category, he won a 100.00 gift certificate to the local market.

In the spirit of sharing, Chef Mike is sharing his award winning Cheesecake recipe. For those who like a New York style cheesecake, you will love this crustless version. “This is one of the best cheesecake recipes you’ll ever find”  and it has been kept a secret until now.

Chef never liked a graham cracker crust so he came up with this version.

Chef Mike’s award winning No Crust Cheesecake

The Wet Works
1 lb. Ricotta Cheese
1 lb. Cream Cheese
1-pint sour cream
Juice of ½ of a lemon (1 ½ tbs. Real Lemon)
1 tbs. vanilla
4 eggs
¼ lb. (1 stick) butter + extra for pan

The Dry Goods
2 tbs. cornstarch
1 ½ c. Sugar
3 tbs. flour for dusting pan

The Procedure
Using a handheld or stand mixer

Beat ricotta until smooth
Add cream cheese and blend
Add sugar gradually
Add eggs slowly, one at a time
Mix until smooth
Add lemon, vanilla, cornstarch and then softened stick of butter
Mix until smooth
Add the sour cream

Beat mixture until smooth (no lumps)

The Hardware & The Process
1. Coat a 9″ spring form pan with melted butter or Crisco and flour it *
*I brush melted butter on the inside of the pan and line with parchment paper then brush the parchment paper with butter again.
2. Pour mixture into pan ¾ of the way to the top
(this recipe will make more than enough for the 9″ spring form pan and you may have some left over – be prepared to pour remainder into a baby spring pan or baking dish)

3. Put on a cookie sheet into a COLD oven Bake at 350° for 1 hour.
4. Turn off oven and DO NOT OPEN the door.

5. Let stay in oven for two (2) hours with door closed.
6. Remove from oven and pan after it has cooled down.
7. Cool completely and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Your patience will be rewarded!

8. Enjoy by topping with your favorite fruit pie filling, whipped cream or just plain (the best)