Last December (2011), I tried to make a cheesecake for my boyfriend’s birthday. After I started mixing together all the sugar and cream cheese, I felt unsure about the mixture and consistency. I left the bowl on the counter to take a look online for photos of what it was supposed to look like! As I scrolled through the recipe online, I heard a loud THUMP/CRASH. The entire bowl – with the mixer- fell off the counter and into my dog’s water bowl. My roommate ran in when she heard my “Ooohhhh MAN!” and found me on the floor next to the water-cream cheese-sugar puddle trying to keep the dog from licking it all up. In the end, we settled for an instant cheesecake with a homemade crust.
Flash forward one year to December 2012, despite all my nervousness, I tried again. And the result was amazing! Cheers to Smitten Kitchen and to second-tries.
New York Cheesecake (from Smitten Kitchen)
What You Need
- 16 graham crackers/8 ounces – finely ground
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 5 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 10 ounces frozen fruit – I used blueberries but the recipe calls for cherries
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 cup water
What You Do
- Stir together crust ingredients.
- Press crust onto bottom and up the sides, stopping one inch shy of the top rim, of a buttered 9 1/2-inch springform pan.
- Put pan into the freezer so it quickly sets.
- Preheat oven to 550 degrees (or as high as your oven will go).
- Beat together cream cheese, sugar, flour and zest with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Add vanilla, then eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating on low speed until each ingredient is incorporated.
- Scrape bowl down between additions.
- Put springform pan with crust in a shallow baking pan (to catch drips).
- Pour filling into crust (springform pan will be completely full) and baking in baking pan in the middle of the oven for 12 minutes or until puffed. (NOTE: Watch your cake because some ovens will top-brown very quickly and if yours does too fast, turn the oven down as soon as you catch it.)
- Reduce the temperature to 200 degrees and continue baking until cake is mostly firm (center will still be slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken), about one hour more.
- Run a knife around the top edge of the cake to loosen it and cool the cake completely in springform on a rack, then chill it, loosely covered, at least 6 hours.
- Place all ingredients for the fruit topping together in a medium saucepan.
- Bring to a boil.
- Once it is boiling, cook it for an additional one to two minutes then remove from heat.
- Cool completely.
- Remove side of pan and transfer cake to a plate.
- Spread topping over chilled cheesecake.
- Enjoy the fruits of your labor 🙂 It is hard work, but worth it!