This cheesecake really makes a statement, thanks to its unexpected square shape and the neat rows of gorgeous, glossy poached apricots. There's no crust -- you just mix the batter and bake it in a square pan, then turn out the cake onto a platter and top it with the apricots, letting some of their delicately spiced poaching syrup drip down the sides.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line with parchment. Set a kettle of water to boil.

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  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Mix in sugar, sour cream, and vanilla seeds. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Beat in lemon juice.

  • Transfer cream-cheese mixture to prepared pan. Smooth top with an offset spatula. Place pan in a large roasting pan, and transfer to oven. Pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to reach halfway up sides of baking pan. Bake until cake is just set in the center and lightly browned on top, about 35 minutes.

  • Transfer baking pan to a wire rack to cool 30 minutes. Invert cheesecake onto serving platter. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.

  • To serve, arrange poached apricot halves, cut side down, on top of cheesecake, allowing juice to pool on surface and drizzle down edges.

Cook's Notes

This recipe appears in our cookbook " Martha Stewart's Cakes."

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