A Chicago Classic: Eli's Original Cheesecake with Illinois Peaches and Cream
Food is something to be celebrated. Especially when it’s dessert, and especially when it’s locally grown.
That’s why Illinois soybean farmers joined local foodies and others for a soy-inspired farm-to-table dinner this summer at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago’s Smart Home.
Three chefs prepared three different courses – each featuring Illinois grown, soy-based ingredients. While chefs presented each course and the role soybeans play in food, local farmers talked about how they’re sustainably growing this crop for our tables.
One of the desserts featured was the Chicago-based Eli’s Original cheesecake garnished with Illinois peaches and whipped cream. Our mouths are still watering thinking about it. So, we’re sharing the recipe for you to enjoy at home.
Eli’s Original Cheesecake with Peaches and Cream
Shortbread Crust | Yield: 1 8- or 9-inch spring form bottom crust
• 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
• 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and confectioners’ sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.
2. Add the salt and vanilla and beat on low speed until the mixture is fully incorporated.
3. Add the flour and beat on low speed until the mixture is fully incorporated and the dough comes together.
4. Shape the dough into a disc. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.
5. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Use the pan as a template and trim the dough to fit the pan.
7. Grease the pan. Carefully lay the disc of dough inside the pan and press down, fitting evenly. Using a fork, dock the dough to ensure even baking.
8. Place the pan in the center of the oven, directly on the middle shelf. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.
Eli’s Original Plain Batter | Yield: 1 8- or 9-inch spring form cheesecake
- 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup cake flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large whole eggs, room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Beat the cream cheese on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the stand mixer bowl to prevent lumps from forming.
2. In a separate medium mixing bowl, combine the sugar, cake flour, and salt. Stir until well combined.
3. Add the contents of the medium mixing bowl to the bowl of the stand mixer and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the stand mixer bowl and continue beating on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
4. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Slowly add first the whole eggs and then the egg yolk to the bowl, one at a time. After adding each, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Continue beating on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture is fully incorporated.
5. Add the sour cream and the vanilla to the bowl of the stand mixer and beat on low speed for 1 minute, until the mixture is smooth. The mixture should be well blended, but not overbeaten.
Adding the batter to the crust
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Pour the batter over the crust.
2. Place the filled cake pan in the center of the oven, directly on the middle shelf. Bake for 20 minutes.
3. Reduce the oven temperature to 200°F. Leave the cake pan in the oven for 30 minutes more, until the cake jiggles slightly in the center. (This step allows the cheesecake to continue cooking slowly and gently, preventing cracking.) Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.
4. Loosen the springform ring from the pan by sliding an offset spatula around the inside of the pan. Remove the springform ring and transfer the cake, with the pan bottom still in place, to plate. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight before serving.
5. Garnish with Illinois peaches or another in-season fruit paired with homemade whipped cream.
The dinner is part of Soy in the City, an Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program initiative that highlights the different ways soybeans impact everyday life in Chicago. Want to learn more about Illinois soybeans, farmers and how they might impact you? Visit www.ilsoy.org/about-soybeans or search #SoyintheCity on Instagram.