A very dear friend of mine recently celebrated her birthday—and a cheesecake was in order. Mind you, this couldn’t be one of those run-of-the-mill type cakes. It needed to be special. And dense. Not to mention absolutely decadent. You only live once, right? The final requirement was that the cake would have to be gluten-free—an easy task, really, with so many products available now that are void of this troublesome protein.
The huckleberries were hand-picked locally by the small hands of her children. A delightful activity all around. If you haven’t had the pleasure of eating a fresh huckleberry, it’s quite similar to a blueberry. Only smaller. With more flavor. If you have a problem locating huckleberries in your neck of the woods, blueberries are a fine substitute. The recipe here is straightforward, but allow for a languid afternoon of cooking to put it together.
Gluten-free Huckleberry New York Style Cheesecake
Yield: 16 petite slices or 8 of the more hearty sort
*As always, by choosing local and organic edibles as much as possible, you help support the health of your body and community.
1 1/2 cups gluten-free graham cracker crumbs
1/4 teaspoon Celtic or Himalayan sea salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 packages cream cheese (8 ounces each), room temperature
4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces sour cream, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons amaretto
Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
Butter the sides and bottom of a 9 x 13 inch springform pan. Wrap the outside with tin foil to prevent leakage. Next, in a medium mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, salt, sugar and butter. Press into prepared pan and bake for 12-15 minutes—until crust is golden in color. Let cool for 10 minutes.
In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, sour cream and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, until completely blended. Lastly, mix in remaining egg yolks and amaretto.
Pour filling into springform and place in large roasting pan. Transfer to oven and fill roasting pan with boiling water halfway up the sides of the springform. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes until cheesecake is golden and edges are set. The center will jiggle somewhat.
Remove cheesecake from water bath and let cool. Discard foil and chill cheesecake in refrigerator overnight.
To serve, use a long, thin knife for slicing. Wipe blade with paper towel and rinse under warm water after each cut.
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