Sunday, August 10, 2008

Jalapeño Cheesecake

  •  One prepared graham cracker crust
  •  candied jalapeños
    •  4-5 large jalapeños, sliced into small pieces and seeds and veins removed
    •  1/2 cup sugar
    •  1/2 cup water
  •  cheesecake batter
    •  16 oz of cream or neufchatel cheese 
    •  2/3 cup sugar
    •  1 large egg
    •  1 large egg yolk
    •  1 tsp vanilla extract
    •  1/4 cup heavy cream
    •  1/4 cup sour cream
    •  zest of 1 small lemon

Candy the jalapeños by combining the sliced chiles, sugar, and water and simmering about 20 minutes. Drain off the syrup and save it to drizzle over the cheesecake when serving. Cover the bottom of the graham cracker crust with the softened jalapenos.

Beat the cream cheese with your mixer until it beats easily, then add the sugar and cream the two together. Add the egg, beat with mixer, then add the yolk, scraping the bowl down to make sure of even consistency. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until you get a smooth batter.

Fill the pie shell with the cheesecake batter, then use a shallow roasting pan with enough hot water to come about half way up the side of your pie tin. Bake in a 325 degree oven for about 1 hour, until the edge of the pie is turning a light brown and the center is still a little jiggly.

Refrigerate the pie for 2-3 hours, or until it's sufficiently set to remove slices. Drizzle the jalapeños syrup over the pie, if you like extra hotness (it's not really that hot, surprisingly). Makes a great dessert for a Cinco de Mayo celebration!

(based on Tommy Erb's "Surprise Happy Ending Cheesecake" featured on Food TV's "Emeril Live")

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