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Red Wine-Braised Pork

This basic braised pork shoulder recipe is a great foundation for all sorts of meals. Try it in our creamy cavatelli pasta (see Associated Recipes), stuffed into a sandwich with provolone and peppers or on top of a pizza.

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Aunt Judy’s Creamy Cheesecake


This Creamy Cheesecake is always a huge hit and is the perfect make-ahead dessert for your next holiday party. Baked Cheesecake is one of those desserts that seems difficult to make, but it’s really not. I’ll share all the tips to make this recipe a breeze.

Prep Time - 10 mins
Cook Time - 2 hrs
Resting Time - 1 hr
Total Time - 2 hrs 10 mins

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 slices
Author: Jennifer

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 pounds cream cheese room temperature
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Butter the inside of cake pan 8 inches wide and 3 inches deep. Sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs, shaking until bottom and sides are coated. Shake out excess crumbs and set aside. 
  2. Place cream cheese, sugar, lemon rind, lemon juice and vanilla in bowl of electric mixer and beat at low speed, adding eggs gradually. 
  3. Blend on low then increase speed to high and continue beating until mixture is smooth. Pour and scrape batter into the prepared pan and shake gently to level the mixture. 
  4. Set the pan inside larger pan and pour 1/4 inch boiling water into the outer pan. 
  5. Bake for 90 minutes at 250 degrees F then increase to 275 degrees F for 30 minutes more. Turn off oven and let cake sit in oven 1 hour. Lift cake out of water bath and place on a rack. Let stand 2 hours then invert a plate over cake and carefully turn upside down so that cake comes out right side up. 
Recipe Notes
Recipe can be doubled and cooked in same oven.

This delicious cheesecake is my Aunt Judy’s recipe. Whenever she brings it to dinner, it’s always a huge hit.

Key to Success #1 – Simple Ingredients Make a Great Cheesecake
This Creamy Cheesecake is made with simple ingredients – just cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and a little bit of flavoring. Because you’re using so few ingredients, you’ll want to make sure your ingredients are high-quality.

Be sure to use full-fat cream cheese for the smoothest cheesecake and the best flavor. Use high-quality vanilla extract, too.

And let’s talk about the crust. The crust on this cheesecake is very light so that the Creamy Cheesecake can be the star of the show.

Key to Success #2 – Cook this Creamy Cheesecake Low & Slow
Good things take time and you definitely want to take your time with this cheesecake recipe. Don’t rush it. Just let it hang out and cook low and slow.

This low ‘n slow cook time makes it a great make-ahead dessert. After it’s baked and properly cooled, it can hang out in the refrigerator for a day or two before it’s eaten.

Key to Success #3 – Give It A Water Bath
The reason cheesecakes need a water bath is to help your cheesecake cook with gentle heat and also add moisture to the oven. These two things will help your Creamy Cheesecake bake up perfectly with no cracks.

A water bath is a lot easier than you’d think though. Just wrap the outside of your springform pan with foil and place it into a larger baking dish, such as a very large skillet or a roasting pan. Then pour a 1/2 inch of water between the outer pan and your springform pan and slide the whole thing into the oven to bake.

This Creamy Cheesecake is wonderful on its own. It needs no embellishments. But if you like to switch things up, it would be a lot of fun to have a Cheesecake Topping Bar for this cheesecake.

Make a Cheesecake Topping Bar
We had cherry pie filling, chocolate syrup, caramel syrup, pecans, and whipped cream on our Cheesecake Topping Bar, but you’re only limited by your imagination. You could do fresh strawberries, maraschino cherries, hot fudge, or chocolate chips. The sky is the limit.

I made myself a turtle cheesecake with chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, and pecans. It was sooooooo delicious and lots of fun to put together.

The next time you need a delicious dessert for a holiday get-together, give this recipe a try! It’s sure to be a favorite!



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