Baking with wine from Plymouth Bay Winery gets smooth & creamy when a White Wine Cheesecake is involved…top it with their jelly & it’s an elegant dessert.

Let’s play with wine again

It’s time to wrap up my series about baking with the wine and wine jelly samples I received as a gift from Plymouth Bay Winery. So far I’ve made Hamantaschen using Bad Newz Raspberry Bay wine jelly and a Cranberry Wine Babka featuring a Cranberry Bay cranberry table wine reduction.The last items left in my gift basket were the Widow’s Walk white table wine and the What’ta Pair wine jelly. I decided that the green apple and citrus notes of this wine lent itself to a White Wine Cheesecake, and I’d use the cinnamon-accented wine jelly to drizzle on another layer of flavor.

 

Plymouth Bay Winery Widow's Walk wine with What'ta Pair jam

Let’s cobble a recipe together

Looking online for wine cheesecake recipes, I came across a few ideas, but none that completely suited me…some had flour in the recipe (which would make the cheesecake have a more cake-like texture, and I wanted a creamy-style cheesecake), and some had so much sugar that I thought the delicate wine flavor would be drowned out. I also wanted a sure-fire technique and tips and tricks for success. In the end, I decided to combine the best of several recipes (as I am wont to do)  and see what would happen. I cobbled together my “franken-recipe” from the following sources:

(Whoa…that’s a lot of recipes!)

Let’s get to it then, shall we?

 

White Wine cheesecake filling ingredients
All the ingredients for smooth and creamy white wine cheesecake, just waiting to be mixed and baked

 

White Wine cheesecake crust ingredients
Let’s not forget the graham cracker crust!

Two parts to make a whole (cheesecake)

Use a food processor to crush up the graham crackers makes quick work for the crust. Here you want fine crumbs, so have at it.

 

making the White Wine cheesecake crust
Steps to a great graham cracker crust (note the tamping tool)

 

When you go to make the filling, mix only until the ingredients are incorporated…you don’t want to add air into the mix or the filling will crack or bubble during baking.

 

mixing the White Wine cheesecake filling
Mixing (but not over-mixing) the filling ingredients

Water Bath or not?

One question I had was whether to bake the cheesecake in a water bath or not. The reason to do so is that the water acts as an insulator, protecting the sides of the cheesecake from over-browning while the filling sets. Interestingly enough, only 2 of my sources mentioned using a water bath, but I still thought it was prudent advice. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a roasting pan large enough to fit my springform pan, so I opted to try a substitute trick — placing a large pan of water on a lower rack in the oven to create steam. My mistake was not using a large roasting pan (like a 9- x 13-inch baking pan) filled with 1-inch of hot water, opting for an 8-inch sauté pan with about a cup of water instead. Result…I didn’t have enough water to do its job and the sides of my cheesecake were over-browned (sadness).

[Side note: I discussed making Egg Custard on my Outlander Cast blog post this month, and there was a neat trick to creating a water bath. You might want to check it out!]

 

White Wine cheesecake before and after baking
Before & after baking (I did have some air bubbles, but that’s covered up by the wine jelly drizzle), and sides that were more brown than I’d hoped

So how was our Franken-recipe?

Despite the sides (and some unsightly air bubbles), the cheesecake itself was wonderful…creamy, rich, slightly tangy, with light notes of green grapes faintly peeking out at the finish from the wine. It was maybe not quite sweet enough (3/4 cup sugar might have been better), but the What’ta Pair jelly helped to add more depth to the wine flavor with cinnamon apples and pears. In addition, the graham cracker crust added a buttery dimension and a nice contrasting texture to the finished dessert. Needless to say, this White Wine cheesecake paired beautifully with the Widow’s Walk wine itself. I couldn’t stop eating the cheesecake, so I made sure to share it with friends. I definitely didn’t have it for breakfast and dessert the next day, no siree.

 

White Wine cheesecake plated with wine and jam in bottles
Here is a classy dessert to share with friends (if you can share, that is!)

 

White Wine cheesecak slice topped with What'ta Pair jam
Yes, this cheesecake is as creamy and delicious as it looks!

 

Many thanks to Gabrielle Sumner, Assistant Manager at Plymouth Bay Winery, for sending the gift basket so I could play with their wines and jellies. They have many more wines and jellies to try…the possibilities are endless!

Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!

Tammy

White Wine Cheesecake

Smooth, creamy, rich, and slightly tangy...this White Wine cheesecake is bound to be a hit!
Adapted from Reese Kitchen, The Daily Slice, King Arthur Flour, Sally’s Baking Addiction, and Allrecipes
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Cooling Time5 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Baking with wine, Cheesecake, Wine
Servings: 16
Calories: 200kcal
Author: Tammy Spencer, Scotch & Scones

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (5 1/4 oz, 150g), about 10 full sheet graham crackers
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter (2 1/2 oz, 70g), melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (1-3/4 oz, 50g)

Filling

  • 4 blocks cream cheese, full fat (16 oz, 227g) full fat, at room temperature (see Recipe Notes)
  • ¼ cup sour cream (2 oz, 56g), at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar (3-1/2 oz, 100g)
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup white wine (2 1/2 oz, 72g)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Procedure

  • For the crust: Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
  • Using a food processor, pulse the graham crackers into crumbs. Add sugar, pulse a couple of times, then add melted butter and pulse until combined. Mixture will be sandy.
  • Press firmly into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9-inch or 10-inch springform pan (there’s no need to grease the pan first). I used a tamping tool to pack the crust down tightly, but a straight sided glass or the bottom of a measuring cup will work as well.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and cool completely. Before adding batter, brush the top inside of the pan (above the crust line with melted butter to help keep any batter that rises above the crust from sticking to the pan.
  • For the filling: Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment or hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add granulated sugar and beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the sour cream, vanilla extract, and wine; beat on low speed until fully combined. On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until just blended. After the final egg is incorporated into the batter, stop mixing.
  • Pour the cheesecake batter on top of the crust. Use a rubber spatula or spoon to smooth it into an even layer.
  • Pour 1-inch of hot water into a 9- x 13-inch baking pan at the bottom of the oven (to simulate a water bath). Put cheesecake on rack above the water-filled pan. (see Recipe Notes)
  • Bake cheesecake for 55-70 minutes or until the center is almost set. When it’s done, the center of the cheesecake will slightly wobble if you gently shake the pan.
  • Turn the oven off and open the oven door slightly. Let the cheesecake sit in the oven (with the water bath) as it cools down for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, then cool cheesecake completely at room temperature.
  • Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Use a knife to loosen the chilled cheesecake from the rim of the springform pan, then remove the rim. Using a clean sharp knife, cut into slices for serving. For neat slices, wipe the knife clean and dip into warm water between each slice.
  • Serve cheesecake with desired toppings. Cover and store leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Recipe Notes

Baking the crust sets it and keeps it from getting soggy or shifting when the cheesecake batter is added. Let the crust cool completely before adding the filling.
Now isn’t the time for reduced fat or nonfat cream cheese…they contain fillers that might prevent the cheesecake from setting properly. Never substitute whipped cream cheese for the solid block.
It’s important to bring all cold ingredients to room temperature before beginning…they’ll combine quickly and evenly, so you won’t risk over-mixing (beating cold ingredients together will result in a chunky cheesecake batter…who wants that?).
Regarding the water bath, I didn't have a baking pan large enough to fit my springform pan, so I used the method using a 9- x 13-inch baking pan described above. Alternatively, you can wrap outside of your springform pan in a double layer of foil, covering the underside and extending all the way to the top (although a good crust keeps filling from leaking out, the foil helps protect against water leaking in). Set the wrapped pan in a large roasting pan, and pour hot water into roasting pan—to a depth of 2 inches or about halfway up the sides of cheesecake pan. Carefully transfer to a preheated oven and bake accordingly.
To help prevent the cheesecake from deflating and cracking as it cools, avoid over-mixing the batter as best you can…you don’t want air beaten into eggs because it causes them to inflate in the oven, then deflate when cooled and crack the cheesecake or form bubbles on the surface.
If you notice the cheesecake browning too quickly on top, tent it with aluminum foil halfway through baking.
Nutrition Facts
White Wine Cheesecake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 200
* Percent daily values are based on a 2,000 cal per day diet.
Did you make this recipe?Please share your pictures with the world...mention @scotch_scones and tag #scotchandsconesblog on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter. I can't wait to see your creations!

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