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Caramel Flan Cheesecake

1 1/2 cup s
1/2 cup
1 tablespoon
lemon juice
Cheesecake Base:
1 1/2 pound s
cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup s
vanilla bean
1 tablespoon
grated orange zest
1 cup
heavy cream
  1. First, prepare the Caramel: In a heavy metal saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice. Cook over high heat until the mixture turns a deep caramel color. Immediately pour it into a 9-inch cake pan and rotate the pan to coat the bottom and sides completely with the caramel. Set aside to cool.  
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F and bring a kettle of hot water to a boil.  
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the Cheesecake Base: Put the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed until the cream cheese is smooth. Stop the machine. With a small, sharp knife, split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. With the knife tip, scrape the tiny vanilla seeds from inside each half into the mixer bowl. Add the sugar and orange zest. Continue mixing at low speed until smoothly blended, 2 minutes more. One at a time, add the eggs, beating until each is fully blended in and stopping to scrape down the side of the bowl after each egg. Still beating at low speed, slowly pour in the cream until fully incorporated, stopping every 30 seconds or so to scrape down the bowl. Pour the mixture into the prepared caramel-coated pan.  
  4. Place the filled cake pan inside a larger baking or roasting pan. Open the preheated oven, pull out a shelf, and place the pan on the shelf. Carefully pour boiling water into the larger pan to come halfway up the side of the cake pan. Then, carefully slide the shelf into the oven and close the oven door. Bake the cheesecake until it is slightly firm to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted into its center comes out clean, about 1 hour, adding a little more boiling water to the surrounding pan if necessary.  
  5. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and take the cake pan out of the larger pan. Leave it on a wire rack to cool for about 30 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill completely, at least 4 hours.  
  6. To unmold the cheesecake, invert a 12-inch serving plate on top of it. Then, securely hold the pan and plate together with both hands and flip them over. Wait a few seconds, and then carefully lift off the cake pan. Cut into wedges.
Average: 4 (21 votes)

About this Recipe

This ingenious cheesecake from Spago Pastry Chef Sherry Yard is crustless because we serve it at our annual Passover Seder at Spago Beverly Hills. But you can enjoy it at any time of year, for any occasion. The cake can be made up to 2 days ahead. If you like, serve with fresh seasonal berries.

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