Recipe for anniversary gets a little cheesy

This week marks four years since I got married to my best friend.

For many people, anniversaries make them wonder how time has passed so quickly, but for Joey and me, we often look puzzled at each other when people ask how long we?ve been married. It seems like it?s been a lot longer than just four years, but I suppose that?s what happens when you?ve known someone for more than 10.

The good news is that I truly enjoy my life with Joey. I couldn?t ask for a better partner in life. He?s a pretty cool guy.

Thinking about our anniversary got me thinking about our honeymoon to the East Coast as well.

One of my (few) regrets about the trip was that I didn?t endeavor to eat some famous New York cheesecake when we were staying in Manhattan, so I decided to bring a little of New York into my Kansas kitchen and make one for myself.

What I discovered in the process is that making a nice, thick cheesecake is a little more difficult than I expected, but after I tasted it, I decided it was well worth the work.

The recipe I used is from the blog ?Food for a Hungry Soul.? You can find the original post at http://foodforahungrysoul.blogspot.com/2010/12/new-york-cheesecake.html. My main adjustment was to add a little more vanilla.

New York Cheesecake

Ingredients

5 large eggs, room temperature

2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream, room temperature (I used fat free)

4, 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature (I used fat free)

8 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Directions

Position your baking rack in the middle of the oven and preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

Liberally butter the inside of a 10-inch springform pan. Wrap a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil around the outside bottom and sides. You?ll be baking your cheesecake in a water bath, so the more water-tight you can make your pan, the better. I wrapped the base of my springform pan in foil before putting the pan together, too, and I had absolutely no leakage.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sour cream until they are well-blended.

In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until the mixture is smooth.

Add the cream cheese mixture to the sour cream mixture and beat until it is smooth.

Add the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, lemon juice and zest and beat for about two minutes.

Pour the mixture into the buttered springform pan and place it in a large roasting pan (something big enough that the edges of the springform don?t touch the sides of the pan).

Place the roaster in the oven and carefully pour in very hot tap water. There should be enough water to reach halfway up the side of the springform pan.

Bake for 2 hours and 15 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Very carefully, remove the pan from the water and peel the aluminum foil off the springform.

Let it sit at room temperature for about four hours or until completely cool. Refrigerate overnight for best results. (I didn?t wait as long as I should have to cut into mine, and it wasn?t as firm as I would have liked.)

*?*?*

One thing to note is that the blog post really stressed how important it is to let the ingredients get to room temperature. I followed her directions and had good results.

This cheesecake was extremely rich, and I definitely didn?t miss having a crust on it. If you?d rather have some other flavors with it, try pouring a can of your favorite kind of pie filling over top of it, but trust me, this is really good all on its own.

It was a nice reminder of my honeymoon, but it was even better to be able to share this cheesecake with a great guy with whom I plan to spend the rest of my life, too.

When not helping husband Joey with newspaper work, Lindsey teaches speech, debate and forensics at Haven High School. She can be reached at lindseyclarion@gmail.com.