New York Cheesecake

One of my firmest beliefs in life is that every restaurant should have some form of cheesecake on their menu.  Just ask my family, and they will tell you the grudges I hold against restaurants that may serve good food otherwise but lack cheesecake.  It makes me sad really, a tragic loss for all patrons.
I also like to think I know what a makes a good cheesecake.  My qualifications for this last statement? The pure volume of cheesecake I’ve eaten in my 22 years on this planet. A cheesecake should have a rich, creamy filling on top of a crunchy and sweet crust.  Now, I love all types of cheesecake, but my favorite is definitely the New York style.
I made this cheesecake for a Mexican fiesta pre-celebration of the 4th of July (I was just not feeling any other Mexican desserts).  Everyone gave this cheesecake rave reviews, and as an expert cheesecake connoisseur, I can only concur.  This cheesecake is perfect in every way a New York cheesecake should be: creamy, rich, and decadent.  Unlike some other cheesecakes, this one definitely has that delicious tang every New York cheesecake should have.  This recipe definitely rivals some of
the cheesecake I have had (even in New York).My cheesecake did not turn out as perfectly as Cook’s Illustrated did (it didn’t brown on top and cracked wile baking), but it was still delicious. I guess that just means I will have to make this again soon to perfect it. It’s a tough task, but someone has to eat another cheesecake.


For the Crust:
8 ounces graham crackers
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons butter, melted

For the Cheesecake:
2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, cut into 1 inch chunks and softened
10 1/2 ounces granulated sugar (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 egg yolks, room temperature
6 large eggs, room temperature


For the Crust:

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

Break the graham crackers into small pieces. Place graham cracker and sugar into a food processor. Process to fine crumbs, about 1 minute. In a large bowl combine graham crackers and butter. Stir until all crumbs are moistened. Pour graham cracker mixture into springform pan. Use a small ramekin to press crumbs evenly on bottom, keeping the sides clean.

Bake until golden brown and fragrant, 12-15 minutes. Let cool completely.

For the Cheesecake:

Preheat oven to 500°F. Grease the sides of cooled springform pan, careful to avoid disturbing the crust.

Transfer cream cheese to the bowl of your stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until pieces are broken up and cheesecake is slightly softened, 1-2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and add granulated sugar and salt. Beat for 1-2 minutes. Scrape down bowl and add sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Beat until combined, about 1-2 minutes. Scrape down bowl and add egg yolks, beating until combined, 1-2 minutes. Scrape down bowl and add eggs two at a time, beating after each addition until thoroughly combine, and scraping down bowl between additions.

Make sure your cheesecake mixture is thoroughly mixed by scraping down the bowl one last time. Place springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour cheesecake filling into springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Keeping the oven door closed, reduced temperature to 200°F. Bake for an additional 1 1/2- 1 3/4 hour, until cheesecake is golden brown on top and has an internal temperature of 150°F.

Cool cake on wire wrack for 5 minutes. Run a pairing knife around the border of the cheesecake to loosen cheesecake from pan. Cool at room temperature for 3 hours. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours.*

To serve, remove the sides of the springform pan. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.

*Cheesecake will keep in fridge. Cheesecake flavor will keep developing the longer you chill, but after one day the crust will significantly soften.


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