Cooking with Rachel: New York Cheesecake


 

New_York_cheesecake

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Rachel Fuka

 

Who doesn’t love cheesecake? And for anyone who’s really picky about their dessert, grocery store cheesecake can be the biggest letdown in the world.

 

My answer to this? Make your own cheesecake at home! There are many no-cook versions of cheesecake floating around, but we all know the best kind is New York Style Cheesecake.

 

Cheesecake (from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book circa 1999)

TIME: 6.5 hours, 40 mins prep, 45 min bake, at least 4 hours chill (total: about 12 hours)

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

Crust

1 ¾ cup crushed graham crackers (you can crush them yourself or use pre-crushed graham cracker, which would be near the pie crusts at your local grocery store)

½ tsp cinnamon

½ cup (about one stick) butter, melted (I find that microwaving for around 25 seconds does the job)

 

Filling

3 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened (remove the cream cheese out of the fridge for a few hours before baking)

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 eggs (2 whites, 3 yolks)

¼ cup milk

 

Optional

½ tsp finely shredded lemon peel

½ tsp lemon juice

MATERIALS:

Oven

Medium sized bowls

8 or 9-inch springform pan

Measuring cup

 

Step 1.) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the crust. In a medium size bowl, combine the graham crackers with the melted butter and cinnamon. It should start to clump together slightly. In a 8 or 9-inch springform pan (this recipe will not work with other types of pans), cover the bottom with the crust mixture. Use the bottom of a flat measuring cup to help get an even layer. When you have covered the bottom, push some of the crust mixture up half an inch up the sides of the pan.

 

Step 2.) Prepare the filling. In a large bowl, beat (turn your beaters to a medium or a high speed) the cream cheese, vanilla, sugar, flour, and the optional lemon. Once that has combined, add the eggs and extra yolk, slowing down the beaters. Stir in the milk.

 

Step 3.) Pour filling into prepared pan. I suggest putting a cookie sheet under the springform pan as excess butter from the crust will leak through as it bakes. Place the pan into the oven, and cook for 45 to 50 minutes for an 8-inch pan or 35 to 40 minutes for a 9-inch pan. To test if the cheesecake is done, use an oven mitt to protect your hand, and then gently jiggle the pan. If only a 1-inch circle in the center is semi -liquidy still, then it is done.

 

Step 4.) Allow the cheesecake to cool down on a cookie rack for 15 minutes. Then, using a plastic butter knife or scraper, gently go around the cheesecake with your tool in order to loosen it from the sides of the pan. Slowly loosen the springform pan wall, and lift and remove the cheesecake. Continue to let the cheesecake cool down for another 30 minutes, and afterward, cover and chill the cheesecake in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

 

Step 5.) Enjoy!

 

 

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