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~ Cheesecake Pie w/Lorna Doone Shortbread Crust ~

IMG_7986Making a cheesecake pie is a quick way to quell a craving for classic cheesecake.  Sometimes known as poor man's cheesecake, this particular easy-to-make, lightly-baked cheesecake pie is remarkably resemblant of a New York-style cheesecake, complete with a two-ingredient, Lindy's-type short-pastry cookie-type crust -- meaning, not a run-of-the-mill graham cracker crust.    

New York-style cheesecake is always a cream-cheese based cheesecake that incorporates cream or sour cream along with eggs, vanilla and/or lemon.  It's gently baked in a deep springform pan that has been placed in a baine marie (a water bath) to prevent it from browning. The typical New York-style cheesecake is thick and very rich with a dense, smooth, and creamy consistency -- a small wedge goes a long way to filling one up.  A popular addition is a lavish layer of sour cream topping, applied after the cheesecake is baked.  It gets mixed with vanilla and sugar and returned to the oven, making this cheesecake twice-baked.  Served with or without a fruit topping (cherry or blueberry is common), it is, hands down, my favorite type of cheesecake.

Three cheers for this easy New York-Style cheesecake pie:

IMG_7898For the crust:

1  10-ounce box Lorna Doone shortbread cookies, processed to crumbs

6  tablespoons salted butter, melted (3/4 stick)

For the cream cheese layer:

1  8-ounce block cream cheese, at room temperature, very soft

1  large egg, at room temperature

1/4  cup sugar

2  teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the sour cream layer:

1  16-ounce container sour cream

1/4  cup sugar

2  teaspoons pure vanilla extract

IMG_7851 IMG_7851 IMG_7851 IMG_7851~Step 1.  To prepare the shortbread cookie crust, break the cookies into small pieces and place them in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.  Using a series of 25-30 rapid on-off pulses process them to crumbs, then, with the motor running, process them to fine crumbs, about 10 more seconds. Transfer the shortbread cookie crumbs to a medium bowl.  

IMG_7863 IMG_7863 IMG_7863 IMG_7863~Step 2.  Melt the butter in the microwave then add it to the cookie crumbs.  Using a spoon, thoroughly incorporate the butter until a moist, grainy, semi-cohesive, crumb mixture forms.

IMG_7875 IMG_7875 IMG_7875 IMG_7875~Step 3.  Transfer crumbs to a 9" pie dish. Using a tablespoon, spread mixture evenly across bottom and partially up sides of dish.  Using a wooden tart tamper, flatten/compress crumbs to form a crust across the bottom.  When the bottom is firmly in place, use the tamper (in conjunction with fingertips) to press crumbs against, and to the top of, sides of the dish.  Bake on center rack of 325° oven for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool 45-60 minutes.

IMG_7958 IMG_7958 IMG_7958 IMG_7958 IMG_7924 IMG_7924 IMG_7924~Step 4.  To prepare the cream cheese layer, place the cream cheese, egg, 1/4 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract in a medium bowl.  On medium speed of hand-held electric mixer, beat until all ingredients are smooth and thoroughly combined, about 1 minute.  Transfer to cookie crust and gently spread to form an even layer.  Bake on center rack of 325° oven, 15 minutes.  Do not overbake.-- the cream cheese layer should show no signs of browning and be barely set.  Remove from oven.

IMG_7903 IMG_7903 IMG_7903 IMG_7933 IMG_7933~Step 5.  To prepare the sour cream layer (while the cream cheese layer is baking), in a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla extract, until smooth and uniform in color.  Using a large spoon, dollop the mixture in the center of the cream cheese layer, then, gently spread it to within 1/2" of the perimeter of the cream cheese layer.  Return to oven to bake on center rack of 325° oven for 15 more minutes.  Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool to room temp, about 2 hours, then refrigerate, uncovered, 6-12 hours.

Slice & serve chilled w/-or-w/o fruit topping:  

IMG_7966Cheesecake Pie w/Lorna Doone Shortbread Crust:  Recipe yields 1, 9" pie/8-12 servings.

Special Equipment List: food processor; 9" pie dish or tin; tablespoon; tart tamper; wire cooling rack; hand-held electric mixer; large rubber spatula; 2-cup measuring container

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d1a60fe9970cCook's Note: Cheesecakes, cream pies, many layered bar-type cookies, and, some refrigerated pudding and frozen ice-cream desserts call for using a graham cracker or cookie crumb crust as a buttery, crunchy base.  While homemade graham crackers, sugar cookies, gingersnaps and chocolate wafers make exceptional crumb crusts, I won't lie, it would have to be one heck of an insanely over-the-top dessert for me to bake any of them for the sole purpose of starting with a real-deal scratch-made base.  That said, I don't at all care for the quality of ready-made store-bought crumb crusts. Learn why by reading all about ~ Making Graham Cracker & Cookie Crumb Crusts ~.

 "We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2020)


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