Here’s the cheesecake post I did over at Bless This Mess last Monday. Enjoy!
There are a few things in life of which I consider myself an expert: the proper way to slice a sandwich (diagonally, of course), how to sneak ice cream out of the freezer without being caught (carefully), and brushing my teeth and hula-hooping at the same time (yes, I can really do this).
I do not profess to be an expert on cheesecake. My only real experience making my own is with a Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust I made a few years ago. So, when one of Michael’s co-workers was hosting a charity event dinner and asked if I’d make a few New York-style cheesecakes for the event, and I said “sure!” without really knowing what makes New York-style cheesecake so New York-ish… I thought I’d better do some research.
The answer, as I’m given to understand, is the addition of sour cream. Some recipes add sour cream to the body of the cheesecake, and other recipes (like this one) opt for a sweetened sour cream layer. I prefer this method, since it gives me a chance to essentially “frost” over any imperfections in the cheesecake itself. And never fear, it didn’t taste like eating a scoop of sour cream. Just like cheesecake-y goodness.
We tried ours plain and then smothered the rest in loads of homemade raspberry sauce, but you could certainly drizzle it with chocolate and caramel, sprinkle it with berries or, for a tropical version, some diced fresh pineapple, kiwi, and flaked coconut. Any way you top it, it is DELICIOUS.
Just when I thought this light, fluffy cheesecake couldn’t get any better, I discovered an added bonus: you can freeze the cheesecake to eat later! We froze some and thawed it in the refrigerator before eating it later. It was delicious and didn’t seem to lose anything in taste or texture, other than there being a touch of condensation on the top. I may not be a cheesecake expert, but my friends, I’ve achieved cheesecake nirvana.
Notes on the recipe: I made this recipe without using any low-fat ingredients. This is the real deal. Since I haven’t tried substituting any reduced-fat ingredients, I don’t feel confident telling you to use them. All I know is, this was to DIE for.
For the crust:
- 2 sleeves graham crackers, crushed
- 1/3c sugar
- 1/2c butter, melted
For the cheesecake:
- 4 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, room temperature
- 1c sugar
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 5 eggs
- 1/3c heavy cream
- zest from 1 lemon
- 1 tsp vanilla
For sour cream layer:
- 1c sour cream
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Make the crust by combining graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl. Toss to combine well, then pat into a 9″ springform pan sprayed with nonstick spray. (I find this is easiest using the bottom of a measuring cup). Pat crumbs about 1″ up the sides of the pan. Cover and refrigerate crust while making cheesecake filling.
- To make the cheesecake filling, bean cream cheese with sugar and flour until well combined and creamy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition. Beat in cream, lemon zest, and vanilla until just combined.
- Remove graham cracker crust from the refrigerator and pour in the filling (it will come up above the graham crust. This is okay). Smooth top as best you can.
- Place springform pan on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 250 degrees and continue baking cheesecake 1 1/2 hours or until firm and set.
- Remove cheesecake from oven and place on a wire rack to cool a bit while you mix up the sour cream layer. Run a thin knife around the edges of the cheesecake if desired to help loosen.
- In a medium bowl, make sour cream layer by stirring together sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Spread sour cream layer over the cheesecake, covering any cracks or seams that may have appeared. Smooth as best you can, and return to oven for 15 minutes longer.
- Allow to cool completely on the counter. Cover pan with plastic wrap or foil and Refrigerate until completely chilled and ready to serve, up to 8-12 hours. Remove springform edges and slice to serve.
Recipe slightly adapted from ZoomYummy