Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Big Batch Chicago Style Cheesecake recipe (48 servings)


Quick Note Folks:

Yes, absolutely you have time to make this before Thanksgiving, if you do it today.  Cheesecake tastes better if it sits in the fridge for a day.  Well, it does.  I made this recipe again yesterday, while I was making chili.  Seriously, mixing this together takes about 15 minutes, the baking not quite an hour.  Cool, wrap, into the fridge.

Now I did something different this time with the crust.  Saved a bunch of time.  I bought a package of Pillsbury ready made pie crust (the package that has 2 rolled single crusts for a 9 inch pie).  I used that for the bottom crust.  Line the bottom of 2 of  the spring-form pans, trim the excess, piece together the bottom of the third.  Do not pre-bake the crust, just pour the cake batter in on top and bake as directed for the cake.  Worked dandy.

If you don't need 3 cheese cakes, divide the ingredients by 3.


It Is All About The Cheesecake!



Note before you start -- this recipe makes 3 nine inch round cheesecakes. (48 servings)
Cheesecake freezes beautifully.
CrustPreheat oven to 325 degrees
In medium sized bowl combine:
3 Cups all purpose flour
1/2 Cup sugar
1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
1/4 Teaspoon grated lemon peel (from real fresh lemons not the dried stuff in the jar)
Mix well, then add
1 Cup softened butter (real butter, I use salted butter, if you prefer sweet butter, that works fine too. I have no idea what fake butter or shortening will do to this recipe and I don't want to know, if you try either, please do not tell me.)

Mix again until all ingredients are combined. You should be able to easily form a pliable ball from the dough with your hands.
Pliable like pie crust or play dough, not sticky.
If the dough seems stiff or wont form a ball - add water one tablespoon at a time until you can form a pliable ball.
Divide the dough into three pieces. Smash the dough into the bottom only of three nine inch spring form or straight sided cake layer pan. You can get all neat about it and roll the dough out and cut a nice circle then lay that in the bottom of the pan, but you were just smooshing the dough around with your hands to form a ball then divide it in three so you decide if you want to get out a rolling pin.

Bake the crust in your preheated (you did preheat -- right?) oven for 10 minutes. You don't want the crust to brown, just set, it will finish browning when you bake the cheesecake.
CheesecakeRemove your pans from the oven, set aside to cool. Turn the oven temperature up to 350 degrees.

In a very large bowl combine
9 eight ounce packages of softened cream cheese.  
(single cake = 3 packages)
3 cups sugar (single cake = 1 cup)
1/3 cup all purpose flour (Single cake = use 2 tablespoons flour) 
1/2 tablespoon grated lemon peel (Single cake = 1/2 teaspoon)
1/2 tablespoon vanilla (single cake = 1/2 teaspoon)

Mix -Mix - Mix -- mix until well blended

then add
7 eggs (I use extra large eggs -- but cheesecake is pretty forgiving so if you use large or jumbo it should not make a huge difference. If you use small eggs, you are on your own.)
(single cake = 2 eggs)
3/4 cup 1/2 and 1/2 (single cake 1/4 cup)
Mix until well combined. Pour cheesecake mixture into your prepared pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for around 50 minutes. Cheesecake is done when only the middle 2 inches of the cake jiggle when you move the pan slightly. Take the cakes out of the oven to cool. The middle will finish setting while the cake cools.
After the cake has cooled run a spatula around the outside of the cake to loosen it from the side of the pan. Do not remove the side of the spring form pan at this point. Cover cake with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator to chill at least four hours before serving. If you are going to freeze the cake, skip the refrigerator and put the plastic wrapped cake right into the freezer.
Raspberry Sauce
2 cups frozen whole raspberries
1 cup sugar
Place the raspberries and the sugar into a heavy saucepan. Heat over low heat until the berries are thawed and stirring combines the berries and the sugar into a liquid. Increase heat to medium. Cook, stirring frequently until the mixture reaches the "jell" stage on a candy thermometer.
Chill sauce and serve over slices of cheesecake.
One nine inch cake should be cut into at least 16 slices.