Reaching Milestones

Our weekly column celebrates food and all the fun that goes with it. In this week’s column, we’ve veered a little off course to celebrate something else: We’re taking a moment to celebrate ourselves! As hard as it is to believe, 20 years have flown by since we opened our doors and opened your eyes to all that is new and innovative in the culinary world. It is now 20 years that we have been at the forefront of kosher cooking and baking, bringing you the latest in quality kitchenware, helpful gadgets and, of course, delicious recipes. For 15 of these years we have been writing this weekly column to keep you, our readers, up to date on culinary news and trends.

It is thanks to you that we keep doing what we do best! Your enthusiasm keeps us on the lookout for just the right thing in the ever-changing world of food. We’ve learned what you like and do our best to keep you informed and educated on the newest trends and tools.

While the kosher culinary world has undergone amazing changes in the last 20 years, one thing remains the same: our commitment to you. It is our customers who make it a pleasure to share our enthusiasm for all things kitchen.

No article would be complete without one of our delicious recipes! So we’re bringing you a throwback to the first recipe we published in the very first issue of our newsletter. It sure does bring back memories!

Pecan Cheesecake

Pecan Crust:

3 tablespoons butter, softened

3 tablespoons sugar

1 egg yolk

1 cup flour

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 cup ground pecans

Filling:

2 oz. cream cheese (unwhipped)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

4 eggs

2 tablespoons bourbon (whiskey)

1 cup chopped toasted pecans

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:

3 oz. white chocolate (dairy, not baking bar)

4 oz. cream cheese

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

Whole pecans for garnish

Line the bottom of a 9-inch round springform pan with a circle of parchment. Preheat oven to 350° F.

Prepare crust:

Beat butter and sugar in a bowl until light. Add yolk, and continue beating until smooth.

Combine flour, baking powder and pecans. Fold dry ingredients into butter mixture. Mixture will be crumbly. Press dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes in the middle of the oven. Remove and reduce heat to 325°.

Beat cream cheese only until smooth. Add regular and brown sugar and mix again for 1 minute. Scrape sides of bowl between each addition of ingredients. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and beat only until combined. Add bourbon and mix until absorbed. Do not overbeat. Fold in pecans slowly by hand.

Wrap aluminum foil around the bottom and sides of your springform so that it comes up at least 1 inch higher than the sides. Pour in the cream cheese-pecan mixture. Place the springform on a baking sheet or jelly-roll pan with sides and pour warm water into the baking sheet to a depth of 1/2-inch. Bake for 60 minutes or until firm except for the center.

Remove the springform. Remove the foil from around the pan and cool completely.

Prepare frosting:

Melt white chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add melted white chocolate and mix. Add butter and lemon.

Using a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip, pipe 12 rosettes around the top of the cake at the outer edge. Into each rosette, place a pecan, inserted at an angle. Serve chilled.


Readers may submit questions to the Culinary Connoisseur, c/o Hamodia, 207 Foster Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11230 or via e-mail to peppermill@hamodia.com. This weekly column has been brought to you by The Peppermill, the world’s first kosher kitchenware store, located at 5015 16th Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. (718) 871-4022. You can also read a selection of previous columns in their comprehensive cookbook, The Culinary Connoisseur, available now at your local Judaica and kitchenware stores. Jam-packed with delicious recipes, insightful food information and helpful cooking tips, this book is certain to become your constant companion in the kitchen.