Bake from Scratch

Cue the Custard


Makes 1 (9-inch) cake

This cheesecake is all custard, no filler. An iconic crustless cheesecake from the Basque region of Spain, the Basque cheesecake has a starkly scorched top with a creamy, just-set interior thanks to a high-temperature bake. We infused our custard with orange zest and star anise, aromatics that often make their way into mulled wine, for a holiday twist.

1 large orange (184 grams)
2¼ cups (540 grams) heavy whipping cream
3 whole star anise (3 grams), lightly crushed
3 (8-ounce) packages (680 grams) cream cheese, softened
1⅓ cups (267 grams) granulated sugar
½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
5 large eggs (250 gram), room temperature
2 teaspoons (10 grams) tightly packed orange zest
1 teaspoon (6 grams) vanilla bean paste
¼ cup (31 grams) all-purpose flour

1. Using a peeler, remove zest from orange in 1-inch strips.

In a medium saucepan, heat zest strips, cream, and star anise over medium-low heat just until steaming and a film forms on top. (Do not boil.) Remove from heat, and let stand for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, and measure 1⅔ cups (400 grams) infused cream;

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