African American Heritage Diet desserts are often fruit based or utilitarian, low sugar custard based pies, ice creams or rice puddings. So the fact I used to make Cheesecake Elegante as a kid is perhaps an anomaly. I saw the recipe in a cookbook at around 11 years of age, liked it, thus it became a staple in my repertoire thereafter. On the other hand, if I were another it would not be unusual that I have been baking this cheesecake for 45 years. ‘Nuff said. My 21st Century version is 99% organic with a probiotic sour cream, top layer however. This cheesecake stands alone quite well but if you like a little something extra my Strawberry Cardamom Sauce will do nicely. Add my family’s traditional Buttered Jelly Cake and you have a fantastic dessert table. Magnifique!
|Organic Cheesecake Elegante|
|1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs|
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. ground allspice
1/3 c. melted butter
Combine all ingredients. Spread in bottom of a 9-inch pie dish, pressing some of the crumbs up the sides to form a rim about 1 inch high.
2 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese at room temperature
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Beat cheese until soft and creamy. Add eggs, sugar and vanilla, beating until thoroughly creamed and smooth. Pour into crust. Bake in 350 degree oven 25 minutes then top with sour cream layer.
SOUR CREAM LAYER:
1 1/2 c. commercial sour cream
1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract or rum extract
Combine sour cream, sugar and extract. Spread over cheese layer. Return to oven; increase temperature to 450 degrees and bake 7 minutes. Remove from oven and cool, then chill. This is very rich so you will want to serve small pieces. Serves 10 to 12.