This is a traditional Baltimore baked good. Basically a rectangular cheesecake with a caky crust, it lends itself as a base for a myriad of toppings.
Servings: 24 squares
- For the crust
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- For the filling
- 1 pound (two 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, at room temperature (do not use low-fat or nonfat)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- Sprinkling of ground cinnamon (optional)
- For garnish
- 1 1/2 cups jam of choice (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Have a 9-by-13-inch ungreased pan at hand.
For the crust: Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Add the oil and eggs; beat on low speed for a few minutes until a dough forms (not so much like a cake batter). Press into the pan, spreading it evenly the bottom and at least halfway up the sides.
For the filling: Combine the cream cheese and sugar in a separate (or cleaned) bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat on medium-low speed for 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low, then add the flour, evaporated milk, vanilla extract and eggs. Mix until smooth; the batter will be quite thin.
Pour the filling over the crust in the pan and sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until the fillilng is slightly puffed and set. The cake should not brown.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. If using the jam as a topping, spread it over the cooled cake before cutting. Use a clean, dry and hot knife to cut the cake into 24 equal squares, cleaning the knife between cuts.
Adapted from a recipe by Rachel Rappaport in the spring 2008 issue of Edible Chesapeake magazine.
Tested by Leigh Lambert.
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