The first time I made this was actually for a going away party for one of my coworkers. I had a reputation in the department as being a good baker, and I asked her what she would like me to make. She asked if I could make a cheesecake out of tea.
Well, I have to say, that was one of the strangest things I had ever heard, and I definitely hadn’t expected her to say that. It had never occurred to me to try to bake tea into a cake, let alone a cheesecake. She was a pretty good friend of mine, so since she had asked, I set out to apply. So I did what any 90s kid would do. I googgled it.
And…there are a lot of recipes for green tea cheesecake. They all use the same basic ingredient list, tea, cream cheese, sugar, and eggs. That’s not very hard. Since she was Indian, and not Japanese, I figured she would prefer Chai tea to green; and that was when the recipe building began. Several pies, and one very happy but sugar high family later; I had made my very first recipe.
It also started a persistent need to improve upon every recipe I’ve cooked since. I’ve ended up with some really good recipes, some really awful recipes, and sometimes a very angry Megan. But meh. You win some, you lose some.
6 Chai tea bags
I used the Bigelow Spice Chai, which has a lot more flavor to it; I’ve also used the Bigelow Vanilla Chai which yields a much milder cheesecake which tastes a little more like regular cheesecake.
1 cup water
2 8-ounce containers of cream cheese
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 9 inch graham cracker pie crust
Sorry I forgot to include the lime juice in the photo, I just use the Kroger brand.
First thing, get the cream cheese out of the refrigerator. I really hate to wait for things to come to room temperature, and I’m usually the one who gets impatient and just uses the butter cold, but unfortunately with this recipe it actually has to be room temp. Unfortunate. Cut the cream cheese into cubes, and it will defrost faster.
Heat water to boiling and measure out 1 cup of boiling water and put in all six tea bags. Cover the 1 cup of water with a plate or anything else non-paper that will completely cover the container’s mouth in order to steep the tea. I actually used the pie crust tin.
Preheat oven to 350OF.
After the cream cheese has come to room temperature, about 20 minutes when it’s cut up, add the sugar and blend well. If you’re using a hand mixer this will only take a few seconds.
Add the egg, the steeped tea, and the lime juice and blend well again. This will be pretty messy as it makes a really liquidy mixture so make sure you’ve used a bowl with high sides.
This should make a completely viscous mixture. If your mixture looks like the above picture, skip the next paragraph.
If your mixture has lots of little white chunks in it, that’s the cream cheese, because it was not at room temperature yet when you started. You can blend all you want, it won’t get well incorporated. Don’t worry though, you can still bake it. It will just not have as even a consistency, as those little chunks of cream cheese will bake differently than the rest of the mixture.
Pour the mixture into the graham cracker pie crust; do not over fill the pie crust so you will probably have a little filling left over. Very carefully place the pie crust in the oven; it will be very easy to spill so watch your step. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is starting to turn brown.
Pie should still be a little jiggly, like jello, if touched, but should appear solid and a little puffed up. Turn the oven off and leave the pie in for an additional 1-2 hours, until it is no longer jiggly. Try to open the oven as little as possible, since this lets out your heat.
When the pie is done, it will have deflated and will pull away from the tin slightly. It will still be a little semi-solid if you serve it immediately, for it to properly set up it has to be refrigerated for 3-6 hours.
Sever warm, or refrigerate for 6 hours to cool completely. Enjoy