This past month, I have been playing so much Fallout 4 that the hit wasteland song Uranium Fever has been stuck in my head. Currently, my character is a melee only combatant working the Grognak the Barbarian costume. The extra damage boost from the costume has been amazing, and it certainly gives my wastelander an air of danger. I knew going into the game that I would be playing this kind of character. There is a certain charm to melee only characters in the Fallout series that I really enjoy and this one has not disappointed. Thanks to my current favorite skill, Blitz, I can teleport around using VATS and get very close and personal very quickly with my enemies.
It always impresses me what food the residents in Fallout 4 put up with. Many of the items are highly irradiated but that won’t stop a hungry person from eating it. There are a few exceptions, most notably the ever elusive Perfectly Preserved Pie from the Port-A-Diners. These little treats will torment you because the grabbing mechanism in the Port-A-Diner was heavily affected by the nuclear fallout. Luckily, the deliciousness of these little guys weren’t affected. The moment I saw these, I knew I would be making them. I decided to go in the direction of a crustless cheesecake topped with strawberry sauce and some caramel buttercream frosting. The three flavors together make for a delightful dessert. I recommend decorating each slice individually rather than dressing the pie up all at once. Enough chatter, time to bake!
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
½ cup sour cream
pinch of salt
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp vanilla extract
½ vanilla bean
¼ heavy cream
2 lbs strawberries, hulled
¾ cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp water
1 cup butter, room temperature
½ cup caramel sauce
1 tsp salt
2-4 cups confectioners’ sugar
Preheat your oven to 275°F. In a cup, combine the heavy cream and the scraped vanilla bean. In a bowl of a stand mixer, whip the cream cheese until smooth. You will need to scrape down the sides a few times to make sure all of the cream cheese is smooth.
Add the sugar and mix well. Next, add the eggs in one at a time.
Add the sour cream, salt, cornstarch, vanilla extract, and the heavy cream (remove the vanilla bean). Mix well and scrape the sides to incorporate everything.
Take a 9” springform pan and wrap the outside in aluminium foil. This will prevent any water from entering the pan. Spray the inside of the pan with non-stick spray. Carefully line the pan with parchment paper. All of these steps will prevent the cheesecake from sticking, making it easier to remove the cheesecake from the pan.
Pour the batter into the pan. To remove excess air bubbles from the cake, drop the pan on a counter several times.
Place the cake pan in a large, deep baking tray. Pour hot water in the baking tray until about halfway up on the cake pan. This is done to avoid harshly cooking the cake and to prevent major cracks from forming on the top.
Bake for one hour. After it is done baking, keep the cheesecake in the oven but turn the heat off. Leave it in there for another hour. This allows the cheesecake to finish cooking inside without cracking the top.
Remove from the oven and the deep baking pan and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cool, refrigerate for at least four hours (overnight is best).
To make the strawberry sauce, take your fresh hulled strawberries and puree them.
Pour the pureed strawberries through a mesh strainer to remove the seeds.
Place the now seedless pureed strawberries into a saucepan with a cinnamon stick over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and add the sugar and vanilla extract. Simmer for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the water and cornstarch. Remove the cinnamon stick and add the cornstarch slurry to the saucepan and whisk until it has slightly thickened.
Allow to cool and then place in the refrigerator. The sauce will fully thicken as it cools, so allow it to refrigerate for at least 2 hours (overnight is best).
Finally, we’ll make the caramel buttercream frosting. In a bowl of a stand mixer, whip butter until smooth. Add the salt and caramel and whisk until combined.
Add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time. Continue to add confectioners’ sugar until you are happy with the flavor and make sure the frosting is thick. I would recommend using a pastry bag with a closed star tip to make the top dollop on the cheesecake.