Eggnog Cheesecake

I hate Eggnog.  I’m not a fan of most thick high calorie creamy beverages.  I have no idea how close to tasting like drinking eggnog this is since I don’t drink the stuff, but this cheesecake is super yummy.  Just the right amount of spice.  It’s definitely not low-calorie and I don’t suggest eating a piece every night for any length of time, but for a once a year indulgence it’s a nice treat that your taste buds won’t regret.  I made it a few weeks ago when I hosted our Holiday Book club and I’m making it again today to bring to a Boxing Day Party on Monday.

Eggnog Cheesecake

1 cup very finely ground cashews
1 cup finely crushed graham crackers (14 squares)
½ cup sugar
½ cup butter, melted

4  8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon rum (optional – I used Bacardi although a spiced rum may be fun)
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 eggs
1 ½ cups dairy eggnog

  1. For the cheesecake crust:  In a medium bowl, stir together the ground cashews, graham crackers and the ½ cup sugar.  Drizzle the melted butter over the cashew mixture. Toss till mixed well.  Press the cashew mixture onto the bottom and about 1 1/2 inches up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan.  Wrap outside of the springform pan securely with heavy foil.  Set aside.
  2. For filling:  In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium-high speed 3 to 4 minutes or till light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in 1 cup sugar, beating for 2 to 3 minutes or till mixture is completely smooth, scraping sides of bowl.  Reduce speed to medium; beat in rum, vanilla and nutmeg.  Add eggs all at once; beat on low-speed till just combined.  Stir in eggnog.
  3. Pour filling into crust-lined pan.  Place springform pan in a large roasting pan.  (Make sure there’s at least 1 inch between the springform pan and the edges of the roasting pan.)  Place roasting pan on oven rack.  Carefully pour enough hot tap water into roasting pan to come halfway up side of springform pan.
  4. Bake in 350 degree oven 60 to 70 minutes or till edge of cheesecake is firm and center appears nearly set when lightly shaken. Carefully remove pan from water bath, transfer to a wire rack.  Cool 15 minutes.  Remove foil.  Loosen crust from sides and cool 30 minutes.  Remove sides of pan; cool.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 days.

Notes:

  • In my oven it took up to 90 minutes or more to reach the doneness as described and my Mother and Aunt have also confirmed 90 mins is about the right amount of time.
  • My crust was really greasy so I will not put the entire 1/2 cup of butter in next time to see what happens.
  • I would let it cool longer before releasing the pan sides/locks.  The next time I’m going to refrigerate it for an hour with pan sides on before removing them to help the cheesecake firm up a bit.

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