I am so glad to share this recipe with you guys! Believe it or not, I’ve made a few cheesecakes in the past, but they always sink or crack. So, I closed that door for a while, but my husband is a fan of the N.Y. Style cheesecake and these days he asked me why not try it again. So I did my search over the web to find a recipe that not only inspire me but give me some confidence, and I think I found it!
Of course this recipe is from the master chef Dorie Greenspan, so I think that is a good start. If you go to the original recipe she lets you choose between either sour cream or heavy cream. As long as you keep the measurement at 1 1/3 cups, you can use whatever combo of the two you’d like. I chose sour cream because, as she stated, it will give you a tangier cheesecake, more New York, and that exactly what I want. The other thing that I liked about this recipe is that is the basic cheesecake that you can transform in any possible way. You can also add fruits or nuts, swirls of chocolate or flavor the cake with an extract or oil. So I think this recipe is the perfect one to have it in your recipe box, or saved in your Pinterest board. So lets try this pinch of sugar!!
For the crust
- 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons sugar (I used 5)
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake:
- 2 pounds (four 8-ounce boxes) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups sour cream or heavy cream, or a combination of the two
Sour cream topping:
- 1½ c. sour cream
- ¼ c. powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
To make the crust:
- Butter a 9-inch springform pan—choose one that has sides that are 2 3/4 inches high (if the sides are lower, you will have cheesecake batter leftover)—and wrap the bottom of the pan in a double layer of aluminum foil; put the pan on a baking sheet.
- Stir the crumbs, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Pour over the melted butter and stir until all of the dry ingredients are uniformly moist. ( I used my fingers)
- Turn the ingredients into the buttered springform pan and use your fingers to pat an even layer of crumbs along the bottom of the pan and about halfway up the sides. Don’t worry if the sides are not perfectly even or if the crumbs reach above or below the midway mark on the sides—this doesn’t have to be a precision job. Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven. ( you can use a measurement cup to press the crumbs)
- Center a rack in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°F and place the springform on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Set the crust aside to cool on a rack while you make the cheesecake. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
To make the cheesecake:
- Put a kettle of water on to boil.
- Working in a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until it is soft and lives up to the creamy part of its name, about 4 minutes.
- With the mixer running, add the sugar and salt and continue to beat another 4 minutes or so, until the cream cheese is light. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one by one, beating for a full minute after each addition.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and stir in the sour cream and/or heavy cream.
- Put the foil-wrapped springform pan in the roaster pan.
- Give the batter a few stirs with a rubber spatula, just to make sure that nothing has been left unmixed at the bottom of the bowl, and scrape the batter into the springform pan. The batter will reach the brim of the pan. Note: If you have a pan with lower sides and have leftover batter, you can bake the batter in a buttered ramekin or small soufflé mold.
- Put the roasting pan in the oven and pour enough boiling water into the roaster to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, at which point the top will be browned (and perhaps cracked) and may have risen just a little above the rim of the pan. Turn off the oven’s heat and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon. Allow the cheesecake to luxuriate in its water bath for another hour. Note: this is a critical step, be accurate with the time and letting the oven door slightly open.
- After 1 hour, carefully pull the setup out of the oven, lift the springform pan out of the roaster—be careful, there may be some hot water in the aluminum foil—remove the foil. Let the cheesecake come to room temperature on a cooling rack.
- When the cake is cool, cover the top lightly and chill the cake for at least 4 hours, although overnight would be better.
- Prepare the topping by combining all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stirring together until smooth. Using a spatula, spread over the top of the cooled cheesecake (you can also do this at about 3 hours into the chill time so that it can set during that remaining hour).
- During the chilling process the cheesecake should come away from the edges of the pan, making it easy and mess-free to remove it before serving….Happy Baking and enjoy this pinch of sugar!
Recipe Source: adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours.