Crazy as it may seem, I began this blog four years ago. I don’t really know where the time has gone.
It’s been an interesting journey and I’ve learned a lot about blogging and far more importantly myself.
I know writing is my true love, not blogging or food. Nothing makes me happier than creating characters and worlds sometimes far different and sometimes quite similar to our own. Yes, cakes and pies are great, but they’re not the be all end all for me. As I inch closer to make my writing dreams come true, my heart is full in a way I never thought it could be.
People can be wonderful. They leave nice comments and support me. They make my recipes and love them. They just stop by to say hi. And I’ve unfortunately learned people can be not so great too. I try to ignore the haters, but that’s a lesson I’m still learning.
Baking isn’t always a science. Yes it’s important to follow the recipe, but it’s more important to have fun. If your butter is a little more melted than room temperature and you accidentally added too much sugar, there’s a good chance the recipe will still turn out and may even be better than the original. The best thing is that you had a good time and hopefully the end product turned out great.
Fancy desserts are often amazing, but simple ones can be just as good. The same goes for the rest of life. Quiet nights in can be better than fancy ones out. Classic black dresses are often superior to their crazy, trendy counterparts. Taking time to enjoy the small things in life is better than rushing through always looking to the next thing.
Follow your heart and your gut and your soul and your instinct. Listen to you. Not all the other voices from people who may or may not know you or the situation. You know you best. I know me best. We need to fight for ourselves.
And we definitely need to make this Orange Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Pie. It is the lightest, fluffiest cheesecake you will ever eat. It’s not too sweet, but not overly tangy either, something that often drives me crazy about cheesecakes.
Despite only adding orange zest, the orange flavor shines through and really adds something to the cake. I also used graham crackers from Zingerman’s, my favorite bakery, to make a buttery crust with the perfect combination of snap and crumble. This is hands down the best cheesecake I’ve ever had, and I know you will love it too.
Also, I’ve recently becomes obsessed with Harry Potter and wrote all about it for She Knows. I’d love if you’d check it out!
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
½ stick unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
16 ounces cream cheese
¼ cup sour cream
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
2 large eggs
Zest of one orange
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Generously butter a pie pan. Set aside.
Make the crust. In a medium bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar until well combined. Pour into the pie pan. Spread into an even layer and press in firmly using hands or the flat bottom of a measuring cup. Spread the mixture up the sides of the pan as much as possible.
Make the filling. In a large bowl, using a hand or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla bean paste until well combined, about two minutes. Add the eggs and orange zest and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Pour the filling into the crust and spread into an even layer. Bake 40-50 minutes, until the center is slightly giggly and the edges are golden brown. Cool at room temperature about 1 ½ hours, then refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours, though overnight is preferable.
Cheesecake may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Additional chilling time is necessary