Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Slow-cooker cheesecake

Did you know you can make cheesecake in a Crock Pot? I sure didn't. But now it's my secret weapon! I've never been able to make a decent cheesecake before. It always came out too dry, crumbly, cracked, etc - even with a water bath.

I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest, originally from Food and Wine. It requires a six-inch springform, so it's kind of a small cheesecake. But it's plenty, believe me! And you can find the Springform at Michaels.

What you need:
3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar

In a small bowl, mix together the graham crackers, butter, cinnamon and sugar. Press into the bottom and a little up the sides of the springform.

Notice I was lazy and didn't melt the butter first? Oh, well!

And then you need:
12 ounces cream cheese (I used the low-fat kind)
1 tablespoon flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup sour cream

At medium - medium/high speed, beat together the cream cheese, flour, sugar and eggs. It should take about two minutes until it's smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, then the almond extract and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Finally, beat in that sour cream until the whole mixture looks deliciously silky and creamy. Yum!

Pour into the prepared springform.
In the bottom of your slow cooker, add 1/2-1 inch of water. You're going to want the cheesecake to not touch the water. How you accomplish this is your call. I just use the little rack that came with it. I've seen some blogs where people make a ring out of aluminum foil and use that - that seems complicated, but to each their own.

Once you've added the water and the cheesecake is sitting above the water, add three layers of paper towels across the top BEFORE you put the lid on. Cook on high for two hours - it's absolutely important that you don't peak! It needs to stay sealed the whole time.

After two hours, turn off the slow cooker (still not peaking!) and allow it to sit for another hour. Then, pull out the cheesecake (which looks glorious at this point) and allow it to cool to room temperature, 30 min to an hour. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge for several hours. I think it's best to do this overnight so it has plenty of time.

And that's it! Serve and enjoy! Ours was supposed to have a blackberry sauce, but that didn't turn out so pretty. Tasty, but not pretty, so it's not pictured. Seriously, I think this is the most idiot-proof cheesecake ever.

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