Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Peajmas dessert No. 1

In case any of you haven't heard of Peajmas I will explain.  So Peajmas is the month long celebration of the birth of Paul James Chaykin, PJ for short (my boyfriend).  PJ has made the day after my birthday (April 12th) to the end of May a celebration of himself.  PJ needs to be showered with chocolate, presents and food.  

I am very good at this, other than sewing my favorite things to do are cook and bake.  This past Sunday we celebrated his 32nd birthday at his sisters house in Bucks County.  I decided to make dessert.  I made a classic cheesecake but gave it a little twist, literally a twist of 2 lemons! 

I made the graham cracker crust thicker than every other cheesecake I've ever had.  I cannot stand when the ratio of crust to filling is not equal.  I need just as much crunch as creaming filling.  Below is my recipe for my Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake and my Roasted Berry with Vanilla bean sauce.

For the Crust:
2 1/2 Tbs. sugar
16  graham crackers (crushed in food processor)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
cinnamon to taste

Mix all dry ingredients together in a food processor or by hand.  Then add the melted butter to the mix and crumble together with hands.  Place parchment paper in the bottom of a square baking dish and mold the crust mixture along the parchment paper to the sides of the pan.  Make sure your crust mixture is about 1/2 inch thick.  Place in a preheated oven of 350 degrees for about 15 min. or until golden brown.  Set aside to cool.

For the Filling:
18 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature
2 eggs
2 lemons ( less or more depending on your taste) juice and zest
1/2 cup sugar
2 containers of strawberries, sliced
Vanilla to taste

Combine cream cheese, lemon juice and zest, vanilla and eggs into a bowl and mix together.  Then add the sugar and mix till all the ingredients are blended.  

Pour mixture into the graham cracker crust (make sure the crust has cooled completely).  

Place all your sliced strawberries on top make sure you cover the whole cheesecake.  

Place in over for around 35-40 minutes.

Take out of oven and cool completely.  Refrigerate for 2-4 hours and then serve.

Roasted Berry with Vanilla Bean sauce:
1 pint of strawberries sliced
1 pint of blueberries 
1 pint of blackberries
1 pint of raspberries
1 vanilla bean (split to remove seeds)
1/2 cup sugar

Mix all the berries, sugar and vanilla beans together in a baking pan.  Then place the Vanilla bean on top and roast in the oven set at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Let cool and then pour on top of cheesecake!

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