Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
Easter can be an under appreciated holiday when it comes to the food. Ham and potatoes are great and all, but it’s time to give the meal some flare! Last year my sister gave me Easter Egg shaped springform pans as a gift, and I have been waiting to use them ever since! My sister gives great gifts, by the way.
Spring has not officially started, but good luck telling that to us Minnesotans. I have seen multiple convertibles with the tops down already (hello sunroof, I’ve missed you!), shorts and t-shirts. It is hard to ignore this weather, and being able to open my windows in March to air out my apartment is glorious!
With the spring feeling comes the anticipation of Easter, and the opportunity to use my egg shaped springform pans. My mom has a great recipe for vanilla bean cheesecake that is bursting with delicious vanilla goodness, using a total of 4 vanilla beans to make it. If you’ve never used vanilla beans before, please give them a try. They are unassuming when you first look at them, but once you split them open and scrape out their insides, you will be rewarded with a wonderful vanilla caviar! The cheesecake is studded with black little dots of vanilla flavor.
Even the crust is overloaded with vanilla. Typically cheesecake crusts are made with graham crackers. This recipe, however, calls for vanilla sandwich cookies, and also includes a vanilla bean. I am fortunate enough to have a food processor that I used to crush up the cookies, but you can also put the cookies in a zip-top bag and crush them with a rolling pin or heavy pan. The crumbs are then mixed with the vanilla bean seeds and melted butter.
Despite my best efforts with using a water bath in the oven when I baked these, the tops of the cheesecakes cracked. But don’t fret, I solved that problem! I whipped up some icing that is perfectly colored to get those vibrant, Easter egg hues.
It was just the thing to disguise the imperfections in the egg tops, and complete the Easter look. Now I know my decorating skills are far from perfect (you might not even call them good); but don’t worry, they’ll still taste amazing!
The recipe for this cheesecake makes more than what is necessary for 3 small pans, so I made an 8 inch cheesecake with the leftovers that my co-workers will get to enjoy. And while you may not have egg-shaped pans, you should definitely still make this cheesecake in a round pan and have fun decorating it with your family this Easter!