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Filtering by Category: cheesecakes

Sous Vide Cheesecake in a Jar

Patricia Reitz

I've been having a blast playing with my new sous vide circulator.  This week I have a great cheesecake recipe to share, but instead of being baked in a springform pan, it's cooked in tiny jam jars that are submerged in a hot water bath.  How cool is that?  I've omitted the graham cracker crust that usually lines the bottom of a cheesecake, but you could certainly add a thin layer to the bottom of your jars... or sprinkle crushed graham crackers on top just before serving.  

Eating Keto?  My recipe can easily be made keto-friendly by replacing the sugar with an equal amount of granulated splenda (I do not like the flavor erythritol imparts in this recipe).  The keto stats for one serving are as follows:  4g carbs, 6g protein, 27g fat, 245g sodium, 280g calories.

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For the cheesecake batter you'll need cream cheese, eggs, sugar (or splenda), and pure vanilla extract (use the good stuff!).  Make sure the cream cheese and eggs are room temperature so leave them out on the counter for several hours before using.

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The amount of batter this recipe makes is small so I like to mix it in my small food processor (I love this thing).  Process until completely smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.

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Divvy the batter evenly among eight 4-ounce canning jars (these are the ones I used).  If you want to be super precise, you can weigh the amount of batter going into each jar (my favorite scale).  

It's not time to close the jars yet, we still have one more step to do...

Now for the best part, the super yummy topping!  To make the topping, whisk together sour cream, sugar (or granulated Splenda), and pure vanilla bean paste.  You can use vanilla extract if you don't have vanilla paste, but trust me, the paste is amazing and you'll love seeing all the vanilla specks when you open those jars (this is the vanilla paste I can't live without).

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Can you see all those tiny vanilla bean seeds?  Heaven!  

I guess I didn't get a photo of the topping all whisked together, but it only takes about 20 seconds to do.

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Evenly distribute the topping among the jars.

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Close the jars "fingertip tight" like you would if you were canning/preserving.  If the lids are too loose, water will get in the jars; and if the lids are too tight, the jars could explode so here's an easy way to know what "fingertip tight" is - place screw band on the jar and turn just until you feel resistance, then turn the band one-quarter turn more. 

Place the jars in a heat-safe container large enough to hold all the jars and a sous vide circulator, and yes it's okay to stack the jars (I used an 8-quart stockpot in the photo above).  Also, place the cooking vessel on a heat-proof surface away from children or pets.  Add water to cover the jars, making sure the water level falls between the minimum and maximum levels indicated on your sous vide circulator.

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Bathe the cheesecakes at 165F for 90 minutes.  I've seen a few recipes that call for cooking to 175F, but I think the finished texture is a bit softer and more pleasing if you cook them to 165F.  

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After 90 minutes, carefully remove the jars from the hot water.  As the jars cool, you may hear that familiar popping sound as a vacuum forms under each lid - such a satisfying noise!  Once the jar lids have popped (and don't worry if they don't), remove the screw bands and allow them to dry (if you leave the screw bands on the jars, they may rust).  Allow the jars to sit on the counter for about an hour, then chill for at least 3 or 4 hours before serving (or up to 5 days).

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Serve these little guys directly from the jar.  I use a JarKey to easily release the vacuum sealed lids - if you're gentle, I promise you'll be able to reuse the lids again and again.

I wrote a short post about the JarKey a number of years ago - here's a link if you're interested in seeing it.  

Note: reusing lids is not recommended when canning/preserving for long-term storage, but we're not doing that here so it's fine to reuse the lids. 

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Aren't they cute?  And they're easy to store (stack them in the fridge), easy to serve (no messy cutting), and easy to transport (tuck one into your lunch bag).  They're great as is, or you can add a little fruit topping - my favorite is blueberry - I make a quick sauce by thawing 1 tablespoon of frozen blueberries in the microwave for 10-20 seconds until soft and mushy, then I allow them to cool and thicken for a minute or two - no sugar or thickeners needed. 

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Delish!

Items used to make this recipe:


Sous Vide Cheesecakes in a Jar

makes 8 servings

Ingredients

Cheesecake Layer:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Creamy Topping:

  • 8 ounces sour cream

  • 1/4 granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)

Directions

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine cream cheese, eggs, 2/3 cup sugar, and pure vanilla extract until completely smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Alternatively, you can mix by hand, but be careful not to incoporate as little air as possible.

  2. Evenly distribute cheesecake batter among eight 4-ounce jam jars.

  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk sour cream, 1/4 sugar, and vanilla bean paste; pour evenly over cheesecake mixture.

  4. Top jars with canning lids, followed by screw bands that are tightened "fingertip tight" (see notes below).

  5. Place jars in a heat-safe container large enough to hold all the jars and a sous vide circulator (it's ok to stack the jars) and place the container on a heat-proof surface away from children or pets.

  6. Add water to cover the jars, making sure the water level falls between the minimum and maximum levels indicated on your sous vide circulator.

  7. Cook the cheesecakes for 90 minutes at 165F, then remove from water and cool for 1 hour (remove screw bands to prevent the lids from rusting).

  8. Chill cheesecakes for at 3 or 4 hours before serving (or up to 5 days).

Notes:

  • Recipe can be made Keto-friendly by replacing sugar with an equal amount of granulated splenda (may also substitute erythritol following manufacturer's suggested equivalent).

  • To tighten jars "fingertip tight" - place screw band on jar and turn just until you feel resistance, then turn band one-quarter turn more.

Mini NY Cheesecakes

Patricia Reitz

We recently celebrated our oldest son's birthday and, as usual, he requested cheesecake for dessert.  I typically make some variation of our family's favorite cheesecake, but on this particular day I simply did not have the 6-8 hours needed to bake and chill a large cheesecake. So I had to come up with a Plan B - which in this case was to make mini cheesecakes that bake and cool in about 2 hours total. An added bonus - they're pretty darn cute and super easy to serve.   Here's how they're made.

Line a very good quality muffin pan (so the cheesecakes don't burn) with very good quality cupcake liners. I really like these grease-proof ones (they peel off easily).

Instead of making a crumb mixture to put in the bottom of the cupcake liners, I opted make a base with a store-bought cookie.  We like these chocolate sandwich cookies.

A whole sandwich cookie is too much, so I split them in half and scraped out the filling.  

I placed the halved cookies into the cupcake liners like this.

 Then topped each with a level #20 scoop of cheesecake batter.  A #20 scoop is the perfect size!

The mini cheesecakes bake for 20 minutes.  When they come out of the oven, they'll be puffed up a little over the top of the pan, but they'll sink down like this while you make the topping.  

To make the topping, whisk together sour cream, sugar, and vanilla bean paste.  I love vanilla bean paste!  If you don't have any vanilla bean paste, feel free to use pure vanilla extract - you won't see any specks of vanilla beans, but the flavor will still be awesome.

Do not skip the topping - it totally makes these cheesecakes!

Pour the topping over the mini cheesecakes, being sure not to overfill the cupcake liners.  

Spread the cheesecake topping evenly and pop the pan back into the oven for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature before chilling for at least 1 hour.

How to make Mini New York Cheesecakes Recipe w/PHOTOS

Oh my - wish you could taste how amazing these are.  

New York Style Cheesecake Recipe w/PHOTOS

Here's the recipe so you can make them yourself.  Enjoy!

Mini NY Cheesecakes

makes 24 

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

Crust:

Filling:

  • 24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 3 eggs, room temperature

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Topping:

  • 16 ounces sour cream

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Line two high quality cupcake pans with greaseproof cupcake liners.

  3. Place 1 cookie half in the bottom of each cupcake liner.

  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a BeaterBlade attachment, beat the filling ingredients together until smooth.

  5. Use a #20 scoop to portion the batter evenly into each cupcake liner; bake for 20 minutes (for best results, bake one pan at a time).

  6. While the cheesecakes are baking, whisk the topping ingredients together until smooth.

  7. Remove cheesecakes from oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes (they will deflate and sink in the middle - this is a good thing).

  8. Divide topping evenly over cheesecakes (or fill the mixture reaches the rim of the cupcake liner); return to oven for 8 minutes.

  9. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

  10. Chill for 1 hour before serving.

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