Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Ghost's Kitchen: Loretta's Cheesecake Pie

What's cooking today?
A very simple cheesecake!
(no, I didn't get the best angle in the shot)

Hello, and welcome to another segment of

I don't make many desserts in all honesty.  I'm not entirely certain why either.  I love desserts as you can obviously tell since I don't exactly resemble the ghost pokemon above that are my M.O. but rather like another famous pokemon.
There is, however, one dessert that I make which I want to share with you all.  It takes a little bit of time depending on the kind of equipment you have but trust me, it's worth it.

So why is this called Loretta's Cheesecake Pie instead of just Cheesecake Pie?  Well this recipe was given to me a few years back by a good buddy of mine, Clinton Peterson.  This was his mother Loretta's recipe.  He gave it to me under the idea that if I found a way to make it better I would let him know, so I'm doing the same with you all.  If you find a way to make this better than it currently is let me know so I can try it out for myself.

Pre-Warning: This recipe has a little more waste and uncertainty than normal.  Due to how things are packaged and the amounts of this recipe you will probably have some leftover ingredients that you'll either need to be creative with or just end up throwing away.  For example, I used a regular pie crust but had I bought the larger pie crust I might have not tossed away any of the actual cheesecake mixture.  However it doesn't matter what size crust you choose or how creative you are, you will end up wasting about 1/3rd of a can of sweetened condensed milk.  Just get used to that fact now.

Gather Your Ingredients and Tools
  • Graham Cracker Pie Crust
  • 2 8-ounce packages of Cream Cheese
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 Cup of Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1/4th Cup of Lemon Juice
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla
  • Knife
  • 2-3 Measuring Cups
  • Tablespoon or Tablespoon sized measuring spoon
  • Cooking Pan
  • Oven Mitt(s)
  • A way to mix the ingredients (depending on what you have available)
    • Good Sturdy Blender and Silicone Spatula  OR
    • Large mixing bowl, hand mixer or wooden spoon and elbow grease
PLEASE NOTE: if your blender is not a very good one I would suggest using a hand mixer or wooden spoon and a bowl.  The mixture is incredibly thick and difficult for many blenders to handle.  Mine is a fairly expensive one purchased by my parents and it still barely gets the job done.  Use caution if going with the blender option.  There is no shame in stopping the blender and pouring the mixture into a bowl to finish. 

1. Soften your Cream Cheese.
Cream Cheese is so much easier to mix when it's warmer than the refrigerator.  Set your cream cheese on the counter for a good 10-20 minutes before starting this so it's nice and pliable.

2. Preheat your Oven and prepare crust
Preheat the oven to 450°F.  Remove the cover from your graham cracker crust and place it on a baking pan.

3. Mix half of your ingredients together in blender/bowl
I have a good blender (thanks to my Mother) and so I will be showing you what it looks like from that perspective.  If you only have a bowl and mixing spoon or a hand mixer the texture should look the same as what you're seeing here.  Take one package of cream cheese, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk and mix them together.   Do yourself a favor and cut the cream cheese up into segments rather than trying to mix the whole lump at once like I did here.  Mix them until they are of a uniform texture with no lumps or clumps similar to the picture below.

 If you are using a blender you will more than likely need to use a silicone spatula to help the very top portion of the ingredients get mixed in with everything else in every single mixing step of this process.

 4.  Mix the other half in
Take your second package of cream cheese, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk and mix them in with the existing mixture till it's all of the same uniform consistency with no clumps.   I even cut the cream cheese up this time! 

5. Add Vanilla
Add your 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla and mix it all together

6. Add Lemon Juice
Add 1/4th Cup of Lemon Juice and mix it all together

7. Add Egg
Add one large egg and mix it all together.

8. Ensure Uniformity
Make sure that the whole mixture has no lumps or clumps.  It shouldn't have any different colors it should just be one mixture that's very smooth.

9. Pour Filling into Pie Crust
Pour the filling into the pie crust till it's almost to the top of the crust.  The mixture will rise slightly when it's baked but not that much.  

If you use a standard pie crust like I did, you will have some leftover filling but perhaps if you use the larger crusts you can fill it completely.  Do what you want with the leftover (I just tossed mine)

10. Bake for 30-ish minutes
Here's where you need to keep an eye on the thing.  30 minutes may be enough for your oven or it may be too much or too little.  What you're looking for is for it to be darker than the normal "golden brown" that most people say to cook things to.  Mine took around 28 minutes total to bake and was slightly darker than I normally make it so start checking somewhere around to 25 minute mark to see if it's ready or not.  You don't want your cheesecake to burn or it will be nasty!

11. Cool Cheesecake
Once it has reached a look similar to the picture above, take it out of the oven and let it cool on the pan for around 20 minutes.

12. Cool Cheesecake even more
Once it has reached a temperature that you can pick it up with your bare hands it's time to cool the cheesecake even further.  Place the lid that came with the crust on the cheese cake and place it in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.  If you are planning on eating the cheesecake sooner then place it in the freezer for one hour.

13. Cut, Serve, and Enjoy!

I hope that Loretta's recipe will continue to spread and that you all enjoy this (kind of) rich dessert just as much as Clinton and I have!  I'm sure Loretta would be happy to know that a recipe of hers would be making people smile years after her passing.

This is Ghost fading into the darkness.

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If you want to see my other food topics and recipes then simply click here!

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