I told you that this past weekend I was in the mood to make and eat cheesecake. Well those who know me know that when I set my mind to something you don't have much of a prayer in stopping me. So once I had my fix with making my Mini Cheesecake Tarts, I tried another new cheesecake recipe.
I found this cheesecake recipe on My Kitchen Cafe's blog. This is by far the creamiest baked cheesecake I have made and tasted to date. The consistency was much like my no-bake cheesecake recipe. Needless to say I loved it and will make it time and time again. It was extremely easy. Baked cheesecakes have always made me a little nervous with their tendency to crack etc. This one however was a breeze!
On Sunday night we had my brother in law Blake and his wife Liz and their little boy Andrew over for dessert and even my brother in law who admittedly is not a huge cheesecake fan enjoyed it and much to my surprise had seconds. I was VERY pleased. The biggest compliment however, came when he said "This is really good, did you make it?" Thanks Blake you made my day!
The Ultimate Cheesecake
adapted from Tyler Florence
3 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 40 squares)
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
2 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 lemon, zest finely grated
1 pint sour cream
To prepare crumb crust: In a mixing bowl, combine the crust ingredients together with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. Firmly press the mixture over the bottom and 1-inch up the sides on the pan, use your fingers or the smooth bottom of a glass. Refrigerate the crust while preparing the filling.
To prepare filling: In a large bowl (I used my food processor), beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute just until smooth and free of any lumps. Gradually add the sugar and beat until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to slowly beat until combined. Stir in the vanilla and lemon zest. Blend in the sour cream. The batter should be well mixed but not overbeaten. Overbeating incorporates too much air and will cause the cake to puff when baking, then fall and crack when cooling. Pour filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 50-55 minutes (I cooked it the full 55 Minutes). The cheesecake should still jiggle slightly, don't panic like I almost did - it will firm up after chilling. Be careful not to overcook! Do not do a toothpick test in the cake's center, this will make a crack. Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours to set up. Demold and transfer to a cake plate. Slice the cheesecake with a thin, nonserrated knife that has been dipped in hot water and wiped dry after each cut.
I love cheesecake plain so that I can taste and fully appreciate all of the cream cheese goodness. However, my husband prefers it with some kind of topping. The only thing I had on hand was some frozen strawberries. I thawed the strawberries and sprinkled them with some sugar and let them sit out and sweat for a couple of hours until all of the juice and flavor had released. I then blended the strawberries in my magic bullet. Simply pour over each individual piece of cheesecake and ENJOY! We sure did!