Cheesecake, Not Don Y's 5 hour
On 5/17/2016 6:44 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
If using canned cherries or crushed pineapples, place them on the
crust before adding the cream cheese filling. (Don Y reduces his
filling, probably a good idea)
No! The pineapple reduction is the most tedious part! It's an hour
and a half standing over the stove with your hand continuously stirring
a hot, sputtering mixture!
Things done that way make for superior results though. I can't stand that long
anyway, but I may try it at least a partial reduction, next time.
Trust me, it is *grueling*! You have to boil off the excess liquid.
So, "steam". You have to stir virtually constantly (lest the
sweet mess carmelize to the pan) so your hands are right over
that hot/steamy mess. Which also means you can't "wander off".
And, it invariably sputters and spits gobs of hot, sticky goo onto
Over the years, I've learned to do this hotter -- to cut down the
time involved (*to* 90 minutes! : ) but at the cost of having to
deal with the hotter environment for my hands.
(I don't wear gloves when working around the house; I sure as hell
won't when baking!)
And, of course, it also means you have to let the stuff cool for a long
time before placing it on the crust.
My crust is very thin/flimsy (egg/butter/flour/sugar/bakpwdr) -- just
a token layer to keep the fruit from sticking directly to the glass
baking dish. So, when the fruit is thickened, it is relatively easy to
poke through the crust layer while trying to spread the "jam".
I freeze, then slice and place in individual waxed paper "cups"
(so the individual pieces can be easily separated from each other),
then freeze (again) until hard, transfer to a foil covered piece of
cardboard and slide into a covered box (that I have previously rescued
or built) -- just to get it to whomever's home. Hence the added hour.
Never thought about freezing it. Making the large is only a few minutes more
than the small version and we'd have some a few weeks later.
In my case, making "large" lengthens the time for the crust and fruit
reduction. So, a project that is already long gets even longer
(I tend to make cheesecakes in batches of 2 or 4 so its a LOT of time
in the kitchen in a relatively short period)
I "need" it frozen to get it out of the baking dish intact as it
will be traveling to *somewhere* -- across the street or across
the state (e.g., I'll be making one for a buddy to bring to his mom
in Colorado for her upcoming 97th bday). My baking dish has vertical
sides (not sloping sides) and sees lots of use for other baked
goods, etc. So, I'm not willing to tie it up waiting for people
to remove a slice at a time from the dish. Freezing it (AFTER
letting it cool in the oven, then on a wire rack, then in the
refrigerator) lets me cut nice clean slices and transfer them
onto/into wax paper "cups"/wrappers (so they don't stick together
and can be easily lifted off a serving tray). As the crust is
so thin, it also helps to be able to SCRAPE the slices out of the
dish and keep that thin butter/flour layer intact, under the fruit.
I can then put the slices on an improvised "cookie sheet"/serving
tray (just a sheet of heavy cardboard wrapped in aluminum foil).
And, slide that into a packing box to ensure nothing manages to
"touch" the tops of the slices (even frozen, any contact is obvious
when the pieces are extracted). In the past, I'd tried putting
toothpicks in the pieces to hold a layer of saran wrap off of
their tops. This didn't work. Hence the idea of letting the BOX
protect them and just wrapping the entire box!
If its "traveling far", then the box sits in the very bottom of the
freezer chest for a few days before "delivery".
As the packing box isn't really air tight (despite wrapping it with
foil and saran wrap), its not suitable for long term storage.
So, when I make one for SWMBO, I move the pieces into small Tupperware
containers (e.g., 4 to a 6-in-sq container).
She has trained herself to remove two at a time (instead of just one!).
It takes a fairly long time to defrost. And, she's not disciplined
enough to just sit and WATCH it. So, picks at the still frozen FIRST
piece, trying to chip off little frozen chunks. This keeps her
busy and somewhat satisfied while the SECOND piece manages to thaw...
[The idea of taking it out the night before doesn't work; she'd want
to EAT it the night before! : ]
I used to make these for a friend and his wife. She used to get up
in the middle of the night -- allegedly asleep -- and help herself
to a piece out of the refrigerator, leaving a mess on the kitchen
counter for him the next morning. And *deny* doing it (sleep-eating?)
When I laughed at this explanation (thinking it an elaborate
rationalization for indulging in an unhealthy behavior), he assured me
that she is, in fact, asleep at these times. He's been awake and
watched her attack various sweets in this way!