Colors replacing white, warm replacing cold, sunshine replacing gray, birds songs replacing snowmobile engines, spiders replacing cobwebs, baseball replacing hockey, flowers replacing dead leaves, smiles replacing burrowed brows.....spring has sprung!
What better way to celebrate then a delightfully delicious carrot cheesecake? This recipe is slightly adapted from my good friend, Martha Stewart. (she doesn't know she's my friend, it's very one-sided):
1/2 c. pecans
1-1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
4 T. butter, melted
4 T. sugar
1/4 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1 T. butter (real)
2 medium carrots, finely grated
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs, room temp
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 t. vanilla extract
In a food processor, pulse the pecans until fine. Mix with the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Mix in the melted butter and press into a springform pan that has been lined with parchment and sprayed. Bake @ 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and cool.
Pulse the carrots in a food processor until they are fine pieces. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the carrots and 1/2 c. sugar and cook over medium heat until carrots are soft and tender, about 7 minutes. Remove and set aside (saving juices). Let cool completely.
Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the remaining sugar and beat 4 more minutes, scraping sides. Add the eggs, one at at time, until each is well incorporated into the mixture. Add the cooled carrot mixture, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, salt and vanilla. Beat until well combined and pour into the cooled crust:
To prevent cracks in your cheesecake, wrap the outside of the pan in a couple of layers of foil. Set the cake into a large roaster, and fill the roaster with boiling water until it comes half way up the pan:
Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven about one and half hours, or until the cake is set, but a bit wobbly in the center. Remove and cool completely, then refrigerating overnight before serving. You can serve this with cream cheese icing, or just as is. Directions for the marzipan carrots will come in a later post!
What are your plans for the first weekend of Spring?