19 May 2009

Recipe: Slow Cooker Cheesecake

peach cheesecake02Another version of a peach cheesecake Image by babe_kl via Flickr

From Denny: This unusual method for baking a cheesecake really caught my eye today! Chef Sandra Lee from the Food Network has launched a new cost effective meals program called Sandra's Money Saving Meals.

This woman is stuffed full of personality AND she can cook well within a budget! Well, Louisiana food is all about the wallet and innovation. We often adopt smart ideas like the one presented today.

We sure love our cheesecake in this state as one version or another in on restaurant menus from diner to sophisticate. Give this one a try and save on your electricity as a slow cooker generally costs about three cents an hour to operate as opposed to a full oven for much more. Definitely more "green." Hope you enjoy!

Slow Cooker Cheesecake

Prep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hr 0 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 8 servings

Ingredients For Cheesecake:

1 (15-ounce) container ricotta

3/4 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 orange, zested

Pinch salt

1 (9-inch) prepared graham cracker crust

For Topping:

1 (15-ounce) can peaches, juice reserved and peaches chopped

1 orange, juiced

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon sugar

Pinch salt

Directions For Cheesecake:

Puree ricotta in a food processor until smooth. Scraping down the sides. Add the sugar and puree for approximately 1 minute so that it is not grainy. Add the eggs, vanilla, orange zest and salt. Puree until smooth and combined.

Place a small bowl in the bottom of a 5 quart slow cooker and place a small plate on top of the bowl. Place pie crust on top of the plate and pour the filling into the pie crust. Place 4 paper towels over the top of slow cooker bowl making sure not to let the towels touch the top of the cheesecake. Secure with lid and cook on high setting for 1 1/2 hours, or until set. Remove from slow cooker and let sit for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for 30 minutes or until chilled.

For Topping:

In a small pot whisk together the reserved peach juice, orange juice, cornstarch, sugar and salt. Stir in the chopped peaches and heat over medium heat. Cook until liquid thickens about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve warm over a slice of cheesecake.

* If you prefer to bake in an oven rather than a slow cooker *

Oven Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the pie crust into a baking dish or roasting pan large enough to accommodate the pie tin. Pour the filling into the crust. Add about 1-inch of warm water into the bottom of the baking dish and cover with foil. Using a skewer, pierce about 12 holes into the foil to allow steam to vent. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until cheesecake set. Remove cheesecake from water bath and let rest on the counter for 30 minutes. Then place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until chilled.

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