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Friday, April 9, 2010

New York Cheesecake w/ Strawberry Topping

"OH-MY-GOSH!" Seriously, that's how they should rename this cheesecake. You'll only be able to say "OH-MY-GOSH" every time you take a bite. Actually, that's not true. Towards the end, it will be more like this... "OH-MY-GOSH, I'm going to throw up if I eat another bite, but OH-MY-GOSH-I-CAN'T-STOP!!" This is not a lie, people. I went to bed Wednesday night with a stomach so full of cheesecake, I couldn't even finish harvesting my Farmville crops! I was K.O.-ed by cheesecake! But it was allll worth it because I got to use up two lonely egg yolks that were hanging out in the fridge, AND I found my very first go-to cheesecake recipe. SUCCESS!!I'm kinda proud of my photos in this post. I guess the daylight just happened to be very suitable at the exact moment I got these shots because usually my photos are nowhere near this good! Sorry for tooting my own horn. You can tell me to stop whenever you'd like! ;)NEW YORK CHEESECAKE (from "The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book")
8 whole graham crackers, broken into 1-inch pieces
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus 1 tablespoon for brushing pan
3 tablespoons sugar

2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, cut into chunks and softened (I used 2 packs Neufchâtel and 3 packs regular)
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sour cream (I used reduced fat)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks
6 large eggs

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Process the graham cracker pieces in a food processor to fine, even crumbs, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle the melted butter and sugar over the crumbs and pulse to incorporate. Sprinkle the mixture into a 9-inch springform pan (I used a 10" pan and still got a tall cheesecake). Press the crumbs firmly into an even layer using the bottom of a measuring cup. Bake the crust until fragrant and beginning to brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Let the crust cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees. Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until smooth, 1 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beaters as needed.

3. Beat in half of the sugar and salt until incorporated, 1 to 3 minutes. Beat in the remaining sugar until incorporated, 1 to 3 minutes. Beat in the sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla until incorporated, 1 to 3 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks and eggs, two at a time, until combined, 1 to 3 minutes.

4. Being careful not to disturb the baked crust, brush the inside of the prepared springform pan with melted butter. Set the pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Carefully pour the filling into the pan. Bake the cheesecake for 10 minutes.

5. Without opening the oven door, reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees and continue to bake the cheesecake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the cake registers 150 degrees, about 1 1/2 hours, rotating the pan halfway through baking.

6. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and run a knife around the edge of the cake. Let the cheesecake cool until just barely warm, 2 1/2 to 3 hours, running a knife around the edge of the cake every hour or so. Wrap the pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours.

7. To unmold the cheesecake, wrap a wet, hot kitchen towel around the cake pan and let sit for 1 minute. Remove the sides of the pan and carefully slide the cake onto a cake platter. Let the cheesecake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. (I think this is a matter of preference. We liked ours cold, straight from the fridge!) The cooled, tightly wrapped cake can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

MAKES about 3 cups

4 cups (20 ounces) fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced thin
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar
Pinch salt
1/2 cup strawberry jam
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
(1 tablespoon cornstarch, my own addition)

1. Toss the strawberries, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl and let sit, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries have released their juice and the sugar has dissolved, about 30 minutes.

2. Process the jam in a food processor (or blender) until smooth, about 8 seconds. Simmer the jam in a small saucepan over medium heat until no longer foamy, about 3 minutes. Stir the warm jam mixture and the lemon juice into the strawberries. Let the topping cool to room temperature before serving, about 1 hour. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

(I chilled this mixture overnight, but I wanted it to be thicker, almost like pie filling. So, I strained the liquid off of the strawberries, reserved about 3 tablespoons of it in a measuring cup, and brought the rest to a simmer. I whisked 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into the reserved 3 tablespoons of strawberry juice, then stirred that into the simmering pot. I brought it back to a simmer and whisked it for about 3 minutes to thicken. I chilled that until completely cold, and then stirred it back into the strawberries. The result was a nice, thick strawberry glaze!)


Miss. Tarrah Dame said...

I fricken love cheesecake and this looks fabulous! now I want cheesecake...darnit.

Kat said...

I love cheesecake too and this looks delicious. Please check out my baking blog for more cheesecake recipes.

KP said...

toot your horn and toot it loud, your pictures are amazing!!

(PS: I subscribe to your blog through an RSS reader so I didn't see your poll until now, but I vote for the kool aid cupcakes--- AMAZING!!!)

IQphantom said...


It looks bloddy brilliant!!!

Congrats!!! It must be AMAZING!

hannah! said...

mmm! all the calories! b:

CaSaundraLeigh said...

Mmm..you can never go wrong with cheesecake! I just bought some strawberries, I say that's a perfect excuse to make this!

Paris Pastry said...

Those are some great pictures! The strawberry sauce looks burgundy red! So pretty!

Allie said...

Those are good pictures, toot away! I'm always taking pics at night it seems, and my lighting sucks.

Laura Loo said...

UM YUM!!!!! cheesecake is my favorite dessert, and I don't have a go-to recipe yet. I'll have to try this!! the pics are lovely :p

Joanne said...

Your description of this cheesecake is exactly how I've felt about it my entire life. it's a very love/hate relationship. Okay. Mostly love.

The Vegan Tree said...

Wow cass these pictures did come out great!

Katie said...

That does indeed look divine! I adore cheesecake like this - pure cheesceake with fruity toppings. The photos are stunning, I know what you mean about finding that perfect spot of daylight to take the photos - I always play hunt the sunny spot too :)

Lucie said...

I've Had this recipe bookmarked for ages and haven't tried it yet--this is definitely enticing! The pictures are really beautiful!

Natalie... said...

Omg wow i cant believe how amazingly good this cheesecake looks, i think i would be saying oh my gosh as well!! Yum!!

Anonymous said...

ill take one of these minus the black junk on Thursday night at about 10:07
thank you

your wife of 17 years

Samya said...

O M G. Amazing. I was actually eating some yogurt and took the spoon out of the cup and tried to reach through the screen to get a bite of cheesecake ;) It looks like the perfect slice of heaven!

Jelli Bean said...

Loving the cheesecake! Between this recipe and Smitten Kitchen's recent post, I'll be in cheesecake heaven for a couple of weeks. Looks fantastic, and I surely wish I could've borrowed a fork at your table!

Tricia said...

Oh. My. Gosh. Seriously... why must you do this to us when we're all trying to fit into summer clothes!!!

A. LEE said...

would it make a difference if I didnt use the graham crackers? I prefer my cheesecake as is with the topping.

Amanda said...

I. Love. Cheesecake.

And this one looks textbook good. Well done!

Elana said...

I just got a bunch of baking supplies from KaTom Restaurant Equipment including a KitchenAid mixer and some springform pans. This cheesecake recipe is first on my list when I receive it all in the mail.

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

What a lovely tall firm cheesecake! With all the baking I do, I can't believe I haven't made this classic cheesecake yet.

Ayesha said...

I'm a long time reader and I'm always tempted to try out your recipes. Yesterday was the first time I actually made something, and it was the cheesecake.

It tasted amazing! The texture, the sweetness, everything. The strawberry sauce was just right, too. I'm usually not a big fan of the fruit sauces, but this hit the spot.

The only trouble I had was that after placing the cheesecake in the oven at 500*, after the 10 minutes was up, it was completely charred on top! I've never had this problem before.

I continued baking it because I could tell that under the surface the cheesecake was definitely not done. When it came out of the oven, after letting it cool a little bit, I was able to peel off the top layer and everything was okay. But it just looked soo... ugly :( Mine didn't come out looking like yours, and I'm sad! :(

steph- whisk/spoon said...

that is one sleek and beautiful slice of cheesecake! looks soooo good!

Monica said...

I made this cheesecake on Saturday night, but due to the cooling process was not able to try it until Sunday. It's amazing! It will definitely be my go to cheesecake recipe as well. Mine was pretty, no cracking, and I made raspberry topping instead of strawberry. My boyfriend said it was the best cheesecake he ever tasted!

the25thyear said...

I have yet to find an awesome cheesecake recipe and i'm looking forward to trying this one :)

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

This cheesecake looks delicious!! And with your desription, I'm going to have to try it soon!!

lavienouveau said...

lovely photos!

Ingrid said...

You've hit jackpot lately with your recipe finds. Your cheesecake does look fabulous.

Anonymous said...

do u know how many cups/ounces 8 graham crackers equal? i plan on getting pre-ground graham cracker crumbs..

Anonymous said...

Maybe you put on the broiler instead ?