New York Style Cheesecake

29 Dec

It’s tradition in my family to have a cheesecake for Christmas Day dessert. This year, my mom passed the torch on to me, giving me dominion over the family cake. I chose a simple, elegant, and classic New York style cheesecake which tastes even better than if it came from a certain Factory.

New York Style Cheesecake

Adapted from We Choose Organic

Printable Recipe

Crust

11-14 graham crackers

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons sugar

pinch of salt

Cheesecake

3 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened (7 8oz. packages)

2 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

5 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter the sides and bottom of a 10″-11″ springform pan and, if you’re feeling cautious, wrap the bottom in aluminum foil.

Place the graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Mix the crumbs, butter, sugar, and salt together and press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. I find the bottom of glass wrapped in plastic wrap helps compact it nicely. Refrigerate the crust for about 15 minutes, until it is set. Bake the crust for about 15 minutes. Let cool.

In the meantime, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until it is fluffy–about 3 minutes. Beating 3 1/2 pounds of cream cheese is not without its challenges, but I promise all the effort will be worth it in the end. I find cream cheese to be one of the worst culprits when it comes to sticking to the sides of the bowl so make sure to scrape down the sides now and then.

Add in the sugar and flour and beat together until incorporated. Mix in the sour cream and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until just combined.

Pour the filling into the cooled graham cracker crust and place the springform in a large roasting pan. Speaking from experience, it’s probably best to determine whether you have a roasting pan large enough to accommodate your cake pan before you are ready to bake. Thank goodness I’ve seen McGyver.

Carefully pour boiling water in the roasting pan around the springform. The water bath will keep the cheesecake from cracking. Put the whole rig in the oven and bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Then, reduce the temperature to 325° and continue baking for about 30 minutes–or until the cake is starting to brown on top but is still a little wobbly in the middle. Turn off the oven but let the cake rest inside with the door open a little for about an hour.

Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack at room temperature and then refrigerate overnight. Run a knife along the outside of the cake and remove the ring of the springform before serving.

This cheesecake is rich and delicious by itself but would take well to strawberries or cherries on top. Enjoy!

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