Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Critical Mom's Cross-Cultural Cheesecake

This delicious cheesecake is ideal for homes like mine that happen to have Nabisco Graham crackers and also German "Butterkeks" or butter cookies, the American version of which might be arrowroot biscuits.  Also heavy, thick, Greek yoghurt--easy to find in the supermarket here--plus Mascarpone, which you ought to be able to find in just about any supermarket in the Western world. 

Pre-heat oven to 350ºF or about 180ºC.

In a food processor, put one package Graham crackers (i.e. one of the wax-wrapped packs in the two-pack box) plus about ten Butterkeks.

You can, if you wish, just use Graham crackers.  Pulverize.  When the cookies are all crumbled, add at least six tablespoons (or more!  I always like more!) melted butter.  Margarine won't do. 

Mix the cookie crumbs and the butter in a pie plate or a medium-sized spring form pan.  Bake in oven for about five minutes.  Remove.  Lower heat to 325ºF or about 160ºC.

In a large mixing bowl, put about 16 ounces (that would be around two cups full--cups the size of coffee mugs) of Mascarpone.  For the very exacting cook, and that would I suppose be my German audience, I used 500 grams of Galbani brand Mascarpone, and 227 grams equals one American "cup."  Add about the same amount of thick, creamy Greek yoghurt--the plain, unflavored variety.  Again, for the exacting:  I used two packs of Elinas "Joghurt nach Griechischer Art," each measuring 150 grams.  Add a teaspoon or more of vanilla.   Here, I rely on the American variety:  Germans might wish to use vanilla bean, since the "Butter-Vanilla" stuff at the supermarket is not particularly flavorful.   Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sugar. Add one egg and beat well with the electric mixer.  Add the next egg and beat again.  Add the third and last egg and continue beating.  Spoon mixture into the cookie-crumb crust; use a rubber scraper to get all the last little dribbles out. 

Bake for about one hour at 325ºF or about 160ºC.

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