Pickerel Pies.

Pickerel Pies.

As I was packing for Pickerel, I decided that I wanted to make a couple of desserts there.
I had purchased a springform pan a couple of months ago that was begging to be used.
My first idea was to do a cheesecake. It is, and has always been, one of my most favorite desserts.
At first, I thought about making a cheesecake with Ferrero Rochers baked right into it.. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that they would melt down, and could possibly destroy the whole cake. I decided against ruining a cake for 10. My pride wouldn’t be able to handle it.
I found a simple recipe for a New York style cheesecake, and switched the crust to a chocolate graham cracker crust.
You guys.. Fresh graham crackers are hard.
Even harder? Using tools from the 1920s to crush them.
I was sweaty and discouraged after the first three minutes.

Next.. The ingredients. I sent someone else to the store, instead of going myself. It was a boy. And I wasn’t very particular on my list.
He bought Neufch√¢tel cheese, the less fatty, and more French version of cream cheese. Two strikes.
He also bought some shitty fake vanilla extract.
There’s a scene from the movie “Mostly Martha,” where she talks about the importance of the ingredients you make a meal out of.
I think about it often, and it’s probably why I spend way too much money on my groceries.
Don’t get me wrong.. I fucking love delivery pizza, frozen burritos, and gas station hot dogs. I’m not that pretentious about food. I love all of it.

That being said..
Cheesecake should be made with some amazing vanilla, perhaps the beans themselves, and REAL cream cheese.
I also shouldn’t have added the lemon zest the recipe called for.

I took the cake out of the oven 15 minutes before schedule because I smelled burning chocolate.
My crust burned.
What the hey?
Also, I wasn’t aware that cheesecake poofed the way mine did.. But I suppose that’s how the New York style gets that ripply edge.

Because I didn’t put those chocolates inside, I decided to put them around the edge.
I was telling my friend Andrew that I had put more chocolates on one side than the other and didn’t know what to do.
He replied, “Celebrate?”
Good thinking, Andrew.

I hated this cheesecake.
For a first try, it wasn’t the worst, though. The actual cake was cooked well.. Just not delicious.
Ezra hated it.
It was too bad that after helping me, then waiting the hour it took to bake, then the 3 hours it took to chill.. It wasn’t good.
I felt for him.

I redeemed myself a few days later with this bad boy.

I used this recipe, but used Chips Ahoy instead of lady fingers, and Bakers semi-sweet chocolate cubes instead of chips.

I just realized I didn’t use any vanilla, either.
But fuck that vanilla.
The pie/cake/mousse turned out wonderfully.
I think in the future, I could toy with the recipe a bit more.. Like have a toffee layer, and maybe a Cool Whip layer.
It was SUPER rich. You needed no more than a sliver..
And the cookies stayed a bit crunchy. Which was awesome.
I’m sure you could used whatever cookies you’d like, too.
Leaves SO much room for play. This might be my go-to for a while.