Classic Cheesecake

  • Serves: Makes one 10-inch springform or 10- x 2- inch cake pan
  • Baking Temp (degrees F): 325
  • Views: 14378
  • Comments: 18

Variations: Raspberry Glazed Classic Cheesecake; Sour Cream Topped New York Style Classic Cheesecake; Strawberry Topped Classic Cheesecake

Photo by sugarpie, Premium Member © Sarah Phillips
Years ago, Tami Smith, Premium Member, gave me her recipe for a delicious and classic cheesecake. You can use this recipe and make additional flavors, which I have posted, below. I think you will be quite pleased with the results!

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1 stick butter, melted

3 pounds (six 8-ounce packages) cream cheese; preferably Philadelphia Brand
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
juice from 1 lemon
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks

1. Position oven shelf in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.

2. Generously grease the bottom and side of a 10-inch springform or 10- x 2- inch cake pan with vegetable oil spray. Optionally, put a disk or parchment paper in the bottom and grease that. (Place pan on paper and trace around, cut). Wrap outside of the with a double layer of heavy-duty foil to prevent seepage.

3. Put graham cracker crumbs and sugar and combine right in the pan. Drizzle melted butter over the crumbs to moisten and mix until moistened. Press in the bottom of the pan. Set aside in the refrigerator.

4. In the bowl of a heavy mixer, beat the cream cheese on low with the paddle until smooth. Scrape and add the sugar, beat on low speed until smooth. Scrape the bowl. Add the vanilla and lemon juice, beat in the eggs and yolks, one at a time. Scrape the bowl well and combine. Scrape the bowl well to ensure even mixing, you should have a smooth batter.

5. Set the cheesecake pan in one (12-inch) cake pan or roasting pan (to serve as water bath). Pour into the cheesecake batter into the smaller prepared pan, all the way to the top. Smooth the top, otherwise it may crack along any overlapping batter.

Pull out the oven shelf and put both pans in the oven. Fill the larger pan so it surrounds the smaller pan with 1-inch of very hot water.

6. Bake until the center is just firm, about an hour. When you tap the side the center will jiggle like firm jello. Don't worry, it will firm up when it cools. You don't want to overbake this cake, this will cause cracking and a dry texture. Remove from the outer water pan and set on a level surface and cool until room temperature. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and chill it at least 12 hours, preferably for 24 hours, especially if using a solid cake pan.

7. To unmold, remove the sides of the springform pan. Or if you wish, simply leave the cake on the removable bottom of the pan and place it on a serving plate. Otherwise invert cheesecake. And with a sharp knife, lift off bottom of springform. Place a flat plate on top and quickly invert.

Store the cheesecake in the refrigerator or freezer for 4 - 5 days tightly covered with plastic wrap. It can be frozen for 2 to 3 months; first freeze unwrapped until hardened and then wrap. Cut before thawing for clean and neat cuts. Thaw in the refrigerator in its wrappers.

Toppings can be placed on a cheesecake right from the oven, or one that has cooled on a wire cake rack. Other toppings are applied after the cheesecake has chilled, preferably overnight.

Raspberry Glazed Classic Cheesecake
1, 14 oz. pkg. frozen red raspberries
1 cup red wine
1/3 cup sugar
1, 10 oz. jar red currant jelly

1. Combine berries, wine and sugar in saucepan over medium heat. Crush thawed berries with back of spoon.
2. Strain raspberry juice through fine sieve; discard seeds. Return juice to saucepan. Simmer over medium heat about 25 minutes until reduced to 1/2 cup and very syrupy. Whisk in currant jelly until melted. Cool to room temperature.
3. Pour about 1/4 cup cooled glaze on chilled cheesecake. Spread lightly, leaving a 1/2" margin around edge. Chill cheesecake for about 1/2 hour.
4. When ready to serve, randomly arrange 3 cups assorted fresh berries on top. Serve immediately. Extra sauce is great on ice cream!

Sour Cream Topped, New York Style Classic Cheesecake
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1. In a medium sized bowl mix sour cream, sugar, vanilla and almond extract.
2. Remove cheesecake from oven and do not turn it off. Spread topping on top of cheesecake, and return to oven immediately.
3. Bake 10-12 minutes more and remove from oven. Refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving.

Strawberry Topped Classic Cheesecake
Enough thinly sliced pound cake to cover top of the cheesecake
24 Strawberries; washed, hulled, cut in half
2 cups Apricot glaze (purchase in gourmet shop)

1. Cover chilled cheesecake with a layer of thinly sliced pound cake.
2. Layer with strawberries, cut side down. Melt apricot glaze over low heat and spoon over strawberries.
3. Chill cake again in refrigerator before cutting.

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