The best paw paw cheesecake you'll ever have. Yield: 1 8 inch springform pan, or roughly 12 servings.
Keyword: Cheesecake, Paw Paw
Stand mixer, 8-9 inch springform pan, roasting pan or another larger pan the springform pan can fit on/into.
2cups1 lb paw paw puree
1lbhigh quality cream cheese
Zest of half a meyer lemon + 2 tablespoons juiceor substitute fresh lemon juice
2large eggs + 3 yolksat room temperature
Black Walnut-Graham Crust
1.5cups(80 grams or roughly 12 crackers) graham crumbs
1/2cup(40 grams) finely chopped black walnutsor regular walnuts
1/2teaspoonfresh ground cinnamon
First bake the crust. Preheat the oven to 350, then melt the butter and mix with the graham crumbs cinnamon, salt, and the ground walnuts.
Press the mixture into an 8 inch spring form pan, or square baking dish, then bake for 12-13 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Cool the crust while you prepare the filling.
For the filling, beat the eggs, yolks and sugar with a whisk in a stand mixer until light and doubled in volume. Meanwhile, puree the cream cheese and the paw paw puree in a food processor until smooth.
Add the paw-paw cheese mixture to the whipped eggs and continue mixing with the whisk attachment for 15 minutes, then fold in the lemon juice and zest, and pour into the cooled crust.
Cooking / Steam-Baking *Read thoroughly*
In a pan the spring form pan can fit inside, put an upside down metal bowl covered with a towel. The idea here is you need to elevate the cheesecake above the water so it doesn't get inside the pan. Another way to do this is with a roasting tray fitted with a rack.
Pour hot water into the pan to come nearly up to the spring form pan, then put the cheesecake into the pan, uncovered.
Bake at 300 F for 70-80 minutes, making sure to check on it regularly at the end.
The cheesecake needs to be appear slightly under-baked, and should giggle gently in the middle. If you've cooked a custard before, this will be familiar.
Turn off the oven, and allow the cheesecake to continue cooking, uncovered, until room temperature, then remove, and refrigerate until needed, uncovered.
The cheese cake can also be cooked ahead and frozen, then thawed.