Monday, June 7, 2010

New York Style Cheesecake

I used to make cheesecakes all the time, before I had kids. I used a wonderful recipe that always turned out great. My husband even encouraged me to sell them, an endeavor that never quite panned out, unforturately. It would have been fun. I've since missplaced that great recipe so when daughter number one asked what a cheesecake tasted like, I had to make her one. I found a to-die-for recipe on Joy of Baking. The recipe steps seemed daunting, and I thought a time or two about modifying them, but I decided to follow it through the first time and see how it turned out. I'm so glad I did. This cheesecake is restaurant quality and tastes fantastic! It's so hard having it close by in the fridge cause it just keeps calling my name. If you get the time, make this cake. You'll be so glad you did.

New York Style Cheesecake

For the crust:
2 cups of graham wafer crumbs or finely crushed vanilla wafers or gingersnaps (process whole cookies in a food processor until they are crumbs)
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted (they recommend unsalted, but I used salted)

For the filling:
4 8 oz. size cream cheese, at room temperature (they recommend full fat, I used Neufchatel cream cheese)
1 cup granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the topping:

1 cup sour cream (they recommend full fat, I used reduced fat)
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 inch springform pan. Place the springform pan on a larger baking pan to catch any leakage while the cheesecake is baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center of oven.

For Crust: In a medium sized bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan. Cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.

For Filling: In bowl of your electric mixer place the cream cheese, sugar, and flour. Beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes), scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (about 30 seconds) after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the whipping cream, lemon zest, vanilla extract and beat just until incorporated. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and pour in the filling. Place the cheesecake pan in the oven.

Bake for 15 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees and continue to bake for about another 1 1/2 hours or until firm and only the center of the cheesecake looks a little wet and wobbly. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Spread the topping over the warm cheesecake and return to oven to bake for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully run a knife or spatula around the inside edge of pan to loosen the cheesecake (helps prevent the surface from cracking as it cools).

Let cool before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating. This cheesecake tastes best after being refrigerated for at least a day.

Serve with fresh fruit or fruit sauces.

Makes one - 9 inch cheesecake.

To freeze: Place the cooled cheesecake on a baking pan and freeze, uncovered, until firm. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, wrap it in heavy duty aluminum foil and place in a freezer bag. Seal and return to freezer. Can be frozen for several months. Thaw uncovered cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight.

Tips: Sometimes the surface of the cheesecake cracks. To help prevent this from happening do not overbeat the batter, especially when creaming the cheese and sugar.

Another reason for cracking is overbaking the cheesecake. Your cheesecake is done when it is firm but the middle may still look a little wet.

Also, make sure the springform pan is well greased as cracking can occur if the cheesecake sticks to the sides as it cools.
Source: The Joy of Baking

“....I can dream away a half-hour on the immortal flavor of those thick cheese cakes we used to have on a Saturday night.”
-Mary Antin, 'The Promised Land'


Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

My husband loves cheesecakes so I'm saving this recipe.

cheesecake said...

I will surely try this one, we all love cheesecake in the family. I always bake a little pan of cheese cake then cut it into four pieces and then store it in four separate containers. We (my husband and I and our 7-year old twin boys) agreed that we'll only share one piece at a time. That way, we sort of eat in moderation to watch our diet, (well, at least it's the best we can do here, lol!).

sweetflutterbys3 said...

I hope he likes it!

sweetflutterbys3 said...

Cheesecake, what a perfect name you have!

That is a great idea on how to share cheesecake, especially considering I've had a big piece of my cheesecake every night since I made it. Just waiting for those extra pounds to show up :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Beth said...

I had a cheesecake sample the other day at Sam's Club that was so good that I wished I had some sort of disguise so I could go back for another sample! :-) Your cheesecake is beautiful, and I'm sure even better than the one I had at Sam's Club.

sweetflutterbys3 said...

I bought a cheesecake from Sam's Club once for my husband's birthday, and it was delicious! Thank you for the compliment :)