Mimsie's Elegant Cheesecake

We took a very simple cheesecake recipe and dressed it up with this yummy hazelnut crust.  The recipe is simple enough to make for impromptu picnic or and elegant enough for your formal dinner party.
Recipe By: GourmetSleuth
  • Prep7 min |
  • Total27 min |
  • Serves 8 -12.


  • Cheesecake Batter Ingredients:
    • 1 large and 1 small package of creme cheese, room temperature.
    • 2 large eggs
    • 3/4 cup of white granulated sugar
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Cheesecake Topping Ingredients:
    • 1/2 pint sour creme
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
    • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Nut Crust Ingredients:
    • 3/4 cups all purpose flour
    • 6 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up in pieces
    • 1 tablespoon cold water
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped hazelnuts


Crust Directions
Butter the sides and bottom of a 9" tart pan with a removable bottom. Place the oven rack in the center position and  preheat oven to 375°F. Put the first three indgedients in a food processor and blend using quick on/off pulses until it is blended. 
Add the butter pieces and blend quickly until the mixture looks like coarse meal.

crust blended to meal
Add the tablespoon of cold water and continue to pulse on/off until dough begins to clump.

dough clumps
Transfer the dough to a medium sized bowl. Add the nuts and kneed the dough lightly until the nuts are blended.

Press the dough along the sides and bottom of the prepared tart pan.
unbaked nut crust
Place the crust in the refrigerator to chill for approximately 30 minutes.
Once the crust is chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and line the inside of the crust with foil. Tuck the foil lightly around the edges of the pan. Fill the pan with beans or pie weights.
pie pan with pie beans
Place the crust in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.   When the crust is done, carefully remove the foil and weights and place the crust on a cooling rack.  While the crust is baking, prepare the cheesecake batter.

Batter Directions
Place the batter ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix using medium speed until the mixture is smooth and well blended. Pour the batter into the partially baked crust.  Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and place the cheesecake on the center rack of the oven. Bake for approximately 20 minutes.  A toothpick inserted in center of the cake should come out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and place on a rack to cool.
cheesecake baked
Once the cheesecake has cooled place it in the refrigerator.  Allow the cheesecake to chill at least 1 to 2 hours.  Then prepare the topping.  The topping should not be added until the cheesecake is cold.

Topping Directions
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and blend well until the sugar dissolves. Top the chilled cheesecake with the sour creme mixture.  Chill cheesecake at least 1 hour more before serving.

Tips and Substitutions
Hazelnuts -  This crust works equally as well with pecans.

Crust Notes
Nut crusts usually release from the tart pan easily.  Simply hold the tart pan in both hands with your thumbs securing the top of the crust. Then, press gently upward on the bottom of the pan to release the crust.

If you do have a problem you can dip the bottom of the tart pan in warm water to encourage the sides to release.  The heat will start melting the butter in the crust so you should do this process quickly. Don't allow the tart  pan to sit in water.

Once you remove the pan from the sides, the pie will remain on the pan bottom for serving.

Tart Pan With Removable Bottom
tart pan
Beans vs. Pie Weights - The purpose of using either of these is to keep the steam that forms as the crust bakes from erupting and making holes in your crust.  Pie weights work a little bit better because they are ceramic and distribute the heat nicely across the crust. Beans work just fine.  Store them in a canister with a tight fitting lid and reuse them
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