Sugar Shack

April 1, 2010

Happy Sugaring! It's maple sugaring season, meaning its time for a maple-y recipe to get that liquid gold down the gullet! As I've mentioned before - I'm not a baker, mostly due to my opposition to measuring. One of the hardest things about blogging about the recipes I make up myself is remembering to guesstimate the quantity of what I throw into the pan. So being forced to measure quantities in order to make something turn out in the first place? Bah! No thanks.

So, if I've baked for you - you know I love you. I can actually count on one hand the people for whom I've baked an actual dessert. One of them being he who puts the Mango in my Mango Hands - my husband. He's pretty easy to please - he basically loves any type of baked good. But, being from Vermont, if its got maple in it, he'll have three, please. And taking into account the weird cranberry hoarding he does every winter, this was a great surprise dessert.

Maple cheesecake with cranberry maple topping, cake adapted from a recipe from The Arlington Inn* and cranberry topping from Bon Appetit
Serves 2, once a day for a week
Note: This has to chill for at least 8 hours before you serve it

twenty-four cinnamon graham crackers
1 stick of butter, melted
1/2 cup real maple syrup (don't you dare use that fake shit)

3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
3 eggs
3/4 tablespoon vanilla
6 tablespoons cup heavy cream

Cranberry-maple goodness
2 cups cranberries
1 cup maple syrup
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup brown sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 350. Crumble the graham crackers into a food processor, and then pulse until you've made them into crumbs. Add the melted butter and syrup and pulse until it is all combined. Press this mixture into a springform pan (I think mine was 9 inches). Put the pan on a baking sheet.

If you have a mixer, put the paddle attachment on. (If you don't have a mixer, then just use a bowl, a spoon, and a really strong arm.) Put all the cream cheese in the bowl and beat until it is smooth. Add the syrup, then  the eggs one at a time, letting each egg get incorporated before you add the next one. Add the vanilla and cream until just combined.

Pour the filling into the crust and put it in the oven on the baking sheet. (In case you have some overflow, it will prevent a giant oven mess.) Bake for about an hour, or until the center is almost set. It will set as it cools, which it should do on a rack until its at room temperature, then cover with foil and cool in the fridge for at least 8 hours.

Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the cranberry topping in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium low heat. Let it boil for 3-4 minutes, or until the cranberries are bursting. Let it cool, then refrigerate until you are ready to use. You can warm it up to serve, or just serve it cold.

Top each slice of cheesecake with a healthy dollop of the cranberry sauce.

*I've never been to this place, but I love that they have a llama on their website. (Is that a llama?)


Emily Pearl Goodstein said...

YOU BAKED A DESSERT FOR ME! And it was amazing.