A week ago I attended my first ever pot-luck dinner. I knew that you had to bring something to a pot-luck dinner, and being very indecisive, I contacted the host asking what they had, and what they needed. I was in luck! No one had decided to bring a dessert yet, so I volunteered. I immediately started running through all my options from the simple to the difficult, from cookies to cakes. I have a few cake recipes that I love, and I have finally perfected my chocolate chip cookies. But I wanted to make something that I thought would please everyone. I decided to make a cheesecake. I have been trying to find a good recipe for cheesecake, and found a recipe that I really wanted to try. Here was my chance!
This is an easy recipe, but makes the best cheesecake I’ve ever made. It was smooth, and light, and delicious. It was just like the cheesecake you expect to get in a NY restaurant. I was short on time, so instead of making the graham cracker crust myself, I bought the ready-made one. This definitely saved me some time. I think that I’ll try making it myself next time, and using a big cake pan instead of two smaller pie pans.
The pot-luck dinner didn’t quite turn out as we anticipated. Most people ended up bailing, so there really wasn’t any food for dinner. We ended up ordering pizza (and who doesn’t like pizza?), but at least I brought dessert. My cheesecake got rave reviews. And now I have an excuse to buy a new spatula, so that I can do a nice job of frosting the cheesecake next time. Rosh Hashanah is coming up and I’m already planning the menu in my head… and for dessert? CHEESECAKE!
1 1/2 cups Graham Cracker crumbs
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup melted butter
4 8oz packages cream cheese
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 475. Place a large pan, or oven-safe skillet (that the cheesecake pan will fit inside) filled with about 1/2″ of water into the oven while it pre-heats. This will be your water bath.
Combine graham cracker crumbs and cinnamon into a medium bowl. Mix in melted butter. Press the crumb into a 9″ spring-form pan that has been lined on the bottom and side with parchment paper. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the crumb mixture flat into the bottom of the pan and about 2/3 the way up the side. Wrap a large piece of foil around the bottom of the pan to keep the cheesecake dry when placed in the water bath in the oven. Put the crust in your freezer until the filling is done.
Use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese with the sugar, sour cream, and vanilla. Blend mixture for a couple minutes or until the ingredients are smooth and creamy. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl and then add them to the cream cheese mixture. Blend the mixture just enough to integrate the eggs.
Remove the crust from the freezer and pour the filling into it.
Carefully place the cheesecake into the preheated water bath. Bake for 12 minutes at 475 degrees F, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake turns a light brown or tan color. Remove the cheesecake from the oven to cool.
When the cheesecake has cooled, combine 1/2 cup sour cream and 2 teaspoons sugar. Spread the sweetened sour cream over the entire top surface of the cheesecake. Cover and chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. To serve, slice the cheesecake into 12 equal portions. Apply a pile of canned whipped cream to the top of each slice and serve. Makes approximately 12 servings.