Pistachio Cheesecake Recipe
Historians believe that cheesecake originated in ancient Greece. It is believed to have been served to the first Olympic athletes in 776 B.C.! The type of cheese used at that time was different. The present version of cheesecake that we have come to know and love (made with the smooth cream cheese), did not become popular until the mid 20th century.
The smooth cream cheese that is currently used originated in the United States by an American dairyman in New York who was trying to replicate the French cheese Neufchatel. He came up with the smooth version in the late 1800's and branded it under the name Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
The Pistachio Cheese cake recipe that I have created uses the smooth cream cheese, while the pistachio adds a Middle Eastern element to an otherwise very well perfected American dish.
Pistachio Cheesecake Recipe:
4 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese
8 ounces of prepared cool whip
1 ½ cups of sugar
1 ½ cups of ground pistachios
1 cup of graham cracker crumbs
½ cup butter
½ cup raspberries
½ cup blueberries
2 tablespoons port wine
2 tablespoons of raspberry jelly (or any flavor)
Melt the butter and mix in the graham cracker crumbs and lay in an 8 inch round cheese cake pan (removable bottom). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs at medium speed until frothy, then add the cream cheese (one at a time) until well mixed. Add one cup of sugar and the 8 ounces of cool whip. Keep beating and add 1 cup of pistachios. Pour into the prepared pan. Tap the pan onto the counter to get rid of any air bubbles and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 additional hour.
Remove from oven and let it cool on the counter. Refrigerate for about 8 hours.
About an hour before you are ready to serve, mix the berries with the ½ cup of sugar and the port wine and let it macerate for about 30 minutes. Collect the juice that accumulates, mix in the port wine, and boil for a few minutes until thickened and reduced a bit.
Unmold the cheesecake and brush the sides with the jelly, mixed with two tablespoons of water. Take the ground pistachios by the handful and decorate the sides of the cheese cake with it. Top with the berries and drizzle the port wine mixture on top and serve.