The show: The Big Bang Theory
The recipe: Lemon-Raspberry Cheesecake
The story: I started watching The Big Bang Theory in its first couple of seasons, and was ecstatic when it started to receive critics’ acclaim. With half the dialogue in scientific terms most people can’t understand, I find it impressive how popular the sitcom has become. I think this shows just how much people enjoy Sheldon, Leonard and the rest of the cast as characters, making these details not really matter. My favorite character is Sheldon, as his quirks and lack of social cues are done perfectly by Jim Parsons.
I also like Penny’s character, because she provides a little bit of normalcy to the show. While she’s often featured as the dumb blonde, she usually says what the average person would think in a room full of geniuses. Penny is a struggling actress who works at Cheesecake Factory, where the group often eats dinner.
In honor of Penny’s job, I made a lemon-raspberry cheesecake that is most likely nothing like what you’d order at Cheesecake Factory. I chose a basic recipe from MyRecipes.com, and used gluten-free graham crackers for the crust and a gluten-free flour blend so that my Celiac sister, Sharon, could have some too. As far as we could tell, these easy changes didn’t have any effect on the end result, so give it a try if you’re gluten free!
Sharon, helped me make the crust and then played photographer as we finished the rest of the recipe. The cheesecake filling is basic, with some lemon juice and zest added to give it some flavor. The recipe also called for raspberries to be sprinkled on half of the filling with the rest of it covering them, which gave it a pretty pink layer in the center.
After cooking for nearly two and a half hours, the cheesecake (kind of) cooled and was ready to taste. Cheesecakes can sometimes crack in the center when they come out of the oven, and luckily mine stayed together. After taking it out of the springform pan, I added some more raspberries to the top.
For my first time making a cheesecake, I was pleased with the final product! The only thing I would have done differently would be to start baking earlier, so it could have more time to cool. Making cheesecake kind of freaked me out before, but it’s really not that complicated. I can’t wait to make another!
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (can use gluten-free version)
5 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour (can substitute gluten-free flour)
4 large eggs
1 pint fresh raspberries
Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, and 3 tablespoons sugar. Press into bottom of an 8-inch springform pan; set aside.
Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar and next 3 ingredients, beating until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with raspberries; pour remaining batter over raspberries. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until cheesecake is almost set. Turn oven off, and partially open door; leave cake in oven 1 hour.
Remove from oven; run a knife around edge of pan, and release sides. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill 8 hours. Store in refrigerator.
Here’s some other cheesecake recipes I want to try out!