Wood Fired Apricot Cheese Cake Recipe
Since cheesecake needs to be refrigerated before serving, it is a perfect dessert to prepare the day before your party. It is very easy to make, but you need to keep an eye on it as it bakes fast in the wood fired oven!
2 cups finely crushed butter cookies (about 30 cookies, such as Lorna Doone)
- ⅓ cup of butter, melted
- 1 15 ¼-oz. can unpeeled apricot halves
- 3 8-oz. pkgs cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar, regular but caster sugar even better
- 1 ½ tsp. vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 1 10-oz.jar of low-calorie apricot spread
- ¼ cup apricot nectar
Combine crushed cookies and melted butter. Press mixture evenly on bottom and 2 inches up on the sides of a 9-inch metal springform pan.
Your pizza oven should only have embers in it, brushed to one side and the floor should register about 360F. Place the pan with crust on the oven floor, close to the opening for about 5 minutes until it browns, turning it once or twice. Watch it, as it tends to brown quickly. Set aside.
Drain apricot halves, reserving 3 tablespoons of the syrup. Coarsely chop the apricots, set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, sugar, the reserved syrup, and vanilla with an electric mixer until combined. Add eggs all at once, beating at low speed just until combined. Stir in chopped apricots. Pour filling into crust-lined pan.
Place pan unto the wood fired oven floor, close to the opening and place the oven door on the outside of the arch (so that the opening is not completely sealed, but there’s a good air space on top). Check after 10-15 minutes and turn pan. Check again after 10 minutes and if you find that cheesecake is browning on top, then place a piece of foil on top of the pan, and if needed, add an upturned baking sheet under the pan for extra insulation. Cheesecake will be done in 40 minutes, when the center appears nearly set. If a few small cracks appear on the surface it is definitely done.
Cool pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Loosen crust from sides of pan and cool cheesecake for 30 minutes more. Remove the sides of pan and let the cake cool completely.
In a small saucepan combine the apricot nectar and the apricot spread over low heat. Melt while stirring. Remove from heat. Spread over the cheesecake. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving or overnight. Serves 16.
Buon appetito from Los Angeles Ovenworks!