What if you put one of the most addictive foods into another one of the most addictive foods?
You would pretty much have something that’s completely irresistible.
I don’t know about you, but I can never eat just one pistachio. If I have one, I’ll have the whole bag.
While I can have just one piece of cheesecake, it’s always a very big piece!
So this pistachio cheesecake is really just a combination of two things that I find impossible to resist.
One of the most important things about making a good cheesecake is to cook it in a water bath. This keeps the filling moist as it sets slowly in the oven.
Of course, the problem is that you can’t just set a spring form pan (with a removable bottom) in a water bath. Water will almost definitely get into the pan and ruin your pie.
The way to prevent this is to wrap the pan very tightly in foil before you even start making the pie.
Once you have your pan water-proofed, go ahead and mix your crust ingredients together and then pack them into the pan. I like to use a large measuring cup to press on the crust.
It makes it easy to press around the edges firmly and get a nice evenly packed crust.
Bake this crust at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes and then let it cool.
Meanwhile, you’ll need to make the filling.
Step one is dealing with the pistachios. You’ll need to shell about a cup of them, or buy them pre-shelled.
Then just grind up the pistachios in a food processor or spice grinder. The finer the better!
Making the filling is actually pretty easy assuming you have a hand mixer or stand mixer. Just beat together the cream cheese with the sugar until it’s nice and light.
Then mix in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the ground pistachios, almond extract, and food coloring. The food coloring is optional, but I like the light green color that that just a few drops will give the cheesecake.
Finally, stir in the sour cream and heavy cream and you’ll be left with a wonderfully delicious filling.
The amounts in this recipe assume you are using a large spring form pan that’s 10 inches wide and 2 inches high. If you are using a smaller pie pan or tart pan to make this (I actually used a tart pan for the photos that I took), reduce the filling by 3/4s.
Once you have the filling made, just pour it into the prepared crust. You can fill it to the top of the crust or even a bit over it if you are using a large spring form pan.
Now for the steam bath. Put your spring form pan in a larger baking dish and then stick the whole thing in a 325 degree oven. Once the pan is in the oven, add enough boiling water to come about 1 inch up the side of your pan.
I was silly and poured my boiling water into the pan before putting it in the oven. Don’t do this. Wait until the pan is steady in the oven and then pour in the water.
Bake this guy at 325 degrees for 90 minutes. It might brown slightly on top and crack a bit, but it should stay pretty smooth.
Once it’s baked, kill the heat in the oven, but leave the pie in the oven to cool slowly. This will also help prevent it from cracking.
I peeked into my oven just to see how it was looking.
Let it cool for an hour in the oven and then remove the pan from the water bath. Peel off the foil and pop out the cheesecake!
NOTE: I’ve made cheesecakes a few times like this and sometimes I haven’t done a great job of waterproofing the pan. If you have some water in your pan, don’t freak out or throw it away. Most likely the cheesecake is still very good and edible if a little water gets in.
While you could serve the pie right now, it’ll be very soft. It’ll have a much better consistency if you chill it for a few hours and then slice it up.
That’s all there is to it. Try this out and make sure you invite friends. It’s impossible to stop eating it if left alone!
Nick loves this recipe because it left him with a half bag of pistachios to snack on. Oh and it’s one of the best cheesecake recipes out there! Check out his blog, Macheesmo, and follow him from his Tablespoon profile.