From: Pastry chef Chona Piumarta, Lark Creek Steak, San Francisco.
Yield: 1 10” cheesecake.
- 1 cup roasted peanuts
- 6 oz. unsalted butter, melted
- 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 lb. cream cheese, soft
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup Welch’s Concord Grape Juice
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
For crust: Preheat oven to 325°F. Place all ingredients in food processor until finely ground. Pour crust mixture into a 10” deep pie pan. Evenly distribute mixture on bottom and sides of pan. Using your fingertips, gently press the mixture until it holds together. Make sure to press evenly throughout entire pan to ensure even cooking. Place pie pan in oven; bake for approximately 15 minutes or until surface is golden brown. Allow pie shell to cool completely before filling it with cheesecake batter.
For batter: Using an electric mixer, use the paddle attachment to mix the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar; mix until smooth. Add grape juice, eggs and vanilla. Mix just until smooth and mixture has no lumps; be careful not to over-mix the batter.
Baking the cheesecake: Preheat oven to 300°F. Place prepared crust on a parchment- lined sheet pan. Pour cheesecake batter into the prepared pie shell. Using a spatula, smooth out the surface, bringing batter out to all sides of the crust. Leave 1⁄2” space at the edge of the crust to prevent spillage. Place cheesecake in the center of the oven; rotate pan halfway through the baking time, at 30 minutes. Cheesecake is done when the center of the cake no longer jiggles, about 1 hour.