Apricot Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 1 box sponge cake mix [prepared as per manufacturer’s directions in a 9-inch round cake pan]
  • 1½ pounds cream cheese, softened
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 small orange [or ½ large orange]
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 small lemon [or ½ large lemon]
  • 7½ ounces granulated sugar [or 1 slightly heaping cup]
  • 3 ounces half & half
  • 5 large eggs
  • Butter, melted
  • ½ cup canned apricot glaze
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 15-ounce cans apricot halves [15 to 18 halves], drained

Apricot-Cheesecake_web1

Preparation:

  1. With the sponge cake flat on a cutting board, slice across the width to make 2 equal rounds of about ½ inch each.
  2. Place one slice into the bottom of a well-buttered 9″x3″ round cake pan that has been lined with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the pan. Prepare the filling.
  3. Add the softened cream cheese to the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the orange and lemon zest and juice and the sugar. Turn the mixer to low speed and mix for 2 minutes.
  4. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl and paddle. Turn the mixer back on to low and slowly pour in the half & half just until blended. Turn off and scrape down.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time with the mixer on low, waiting until each has blended in before adding the next. Turn off the mixer and scrape down.
  6. Pour the mixture into the lined cake pan and bake in a water bath at 340°F for 50 minutes to 1 hour until the top browns slightly and the filling has firmed.
  7. Place a second slice of the sponge cake on the surface, pressing down slightly, and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  8. Run a thin knife around the edge of the pan and invert the pan onto a plate or cake round. Lift off the pan.
  9. Remove the parchment and brush the top and sides with the warmed apricot glaze. Coat the sides with the chopped walnuts and arrange the apricot halves over the entire surface.
  10. Brush the apricots with the remaining glaze and refrigerate—unless you can’t resist slicing into it immediately!

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Reprinted by permission from Sodexo, Inc., Star Culinary Awards Cookbook, Recipe by Chef Matt F. Schmich III

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