I cook

For the last few weeks we’ve been going to this local baker for cakes who uses sour cream in a lot of her recipes.  Even in things like apple pie she has a layer of tart custard-like pudding that adds something very special, an extra hint of tartness and of course fatty goodness that makes her foodstuff the good stuff.  I’ve made cookies and brownies hundreds of times, and cakes and pies occasionally, but this new discovery inspired me to try making something I’ve never even really liked before: cheesecake.

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The above is my first try, plain cheesecake with soy milk instead of heavy cream just because that’s what we had on hand, plus a topping that is just frozen blueberries, Craisins, canned cherries (pricey here), brown sugar and corn starch.  It was all good aside from the premade crust, which turned rather woody in the oven.

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Attempt #2 has a frozen crust available at Max Value, and is made with a quarter pumpkin and some Trader Joe’s pumpkin pie spice in addition to the other ingredients (cream cheese, egg, sugar, soy milk, vanilla).  The topping is pecans boiled in brown sugar and soy milk.  This one is my favorite so far, but takes a bit of extra time in that the pumpkin has to be cooked for an hour at 350 F beforehand.  The pie itself is baked at 325 for one hour.

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#3, a quarter of which is still in the fridge, is the same as the last except with 2 bananas instead of pumpkin and pie spice, and heavy cream because we went shopping.  The strawberries are in season now (early spring) and cost 400 yen for a smallish pack, but are pretty essential for this.

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For comparison, this is the apple pie from our local baker, complete with pineapple juice-infused apples and nut and coconut topping.  The sour cream layer is up top.  If it looks expensive, that’s because it is.

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Bonus picture!  The pizookie-like substance we’ve made a Valentine’s Day tradition.  Basically a cookie baked on very high heat for 10 minutes.

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