The cheesecake that caught my oven on fire
Preston and I are going to our friends’ (that’s plural, because we like both people equally) house for dinner on Saturday. We haven’t really been out together without the kids since I had the baby. He’s 4.5 months old and I’m excited. I’m so excited I told Preston I would make a cheesecake. A made-from-scratch cheesecake!
I’ve made this cheesecake before. Actually the last time I made it, we went to dinner at the same place. It was delicious. Or at least we all thought it was. Surely it wasn’t all of the wine we drank before we ate the cake.
This cheesecake has 5 boxes of cream cheese and whipping cream! WHIPPING CREAM! How can it not be good?
Since I have a million kids now (or three, but it feels like a million) and 2 of them are in sports, I knew I would need to make this cake on two separate nights. It’s what working moms do.
Wednesday night I make the graham cracker crust. See recipe below. OMG, as I’m typing this, I’m realizing it was the butter! The butter is what started the fire! Keep reading. I’ll get to the fire.
It’s Thursday. This is cheesecake makin day.
Preston and the big kids leave for wrestling. I stay home with the baby. I put Mav in his highchair, with some toys on his tray to play with. That’s what Mom’s do, who want to bake. I click the oven on to 500 degrees and turn my back to my baby and my oven. Mom of the year.
I start going about my cheesecake business… stirring, dumping, whipping, licking. In that order. I think I smell something burning. Eh, it’s probably just a little something that fell into the bottom of the oven. 500 degrees is really hot. It’ll burn off just in time for me to put my delectable cheesecake into the oven. It’s totally fine.
But the responsible mom in me decides to turn around. Mav is happily chewing on his rubber giraffe. The oven is on fire. Holy shit, the oven is on fire. ON FIRE! Don’t freak out, it is on the inside of the oven. But there is a flame. And the flame is reaching from the bottom burner all the way to the top burner. That’s quite a flame. Luckily I had just talked about a work lady’s oven catching on fire and how you should never open the oven door. Because giving oxygen to a flame is like giving candy to me. They both get bigger.
So I do what any sane person would do. I yell, “SHIT WHAT SHOULD I DO?” Then I quickly shut off the oven and pray for the fire to go out. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE go out! It does. But then the smoke starts. What next? Wet towel? I’ll throw a wet towel over the top of the oven and turn on the exhaust fan. It’s still getting smokey, so I open all the doors. But it’s only 17 degrees outside, so the baby and I put on our stocking caps and discuss what I should do about the delicious made-from-scratch cheesecake batter that is sitting on the counter.
The baby isn’t much help.
I call my mom. She doesn’t answer.
I call Sister A. She doesn’t answer.
I call Sister B. She doesn’t answer.
I call Sister C. She answers, thankfully. She tells me I’ll probably need to clean out the oven or the fire will start again, but the cheesecake should be fine sitting on the counter.
But now the baby is crying. It’s bathtime and bedtime. This sister ain’t got time for cleaning the oven.
Sister B calls back.
Sister B texts Sister A. Sister A calls back. We decide, with her husband’s help, that the self cleaning option might be the best option. I pour the cheesecake into a glass bowl and leave it to bake tomorrow.
DELICIOUS MADE-FROM-SCRATCH CHEESECAKE
Graham Cracker Crust
12 tbsp butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers (this was 1 sleeve plus 1 cracker)
Mix all ingredients together. Mixture should be somewhat dry, add more graham crackers , if needed. Press in bottom of spring form pan. Place spring form pan on cookie sheet before baking (butter may drip from edges of pan) Bake in preheated 375º oven for 10-12 minutes, cool completely.
5 boxes of cream cheese
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp flour
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla
5 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup whipping cream
Beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, lemon juice and vanilla on high speed until fluffy. Add eggs and yolks one at a time, beating until well combined. Slowly blend in whipping cream. Pour into chilled crust.
Bake in preheated 500º oven for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 250º and bake for an additional 50-60 minutes. Times vary by oven, might take as long as 90 minutes. Cake may crack. It should be somewhat firm when jiggled. When it stops jiggling, it’s done. Cool cake overnight and serve with your favorite fruit topping.