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New York Cheesecake Recipe & Video

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New York Cheesecakes have three layers, starting with a Graham Cracker Crust. Next, is a deliciously rich, and tangy sweet, cream cheese filling that has a wonderfully dense and creamy smooth texture. The top layer is lightly sweetened sour cream. This cheesecake is very good on its own, or you can serve it with fresh berries or a fruit sauce

We start this recipe by making a Graham Cracker Crust which is, by far, the simplest of all the pie crusts to make. Now, the test to see if you have the right amount of crumbs to melted butter is, once you have mixed the ingredients together, to squeeze some in your hand. If the crumbs hold together, then it's ready to press into your pan.

For the cheesecake filling, make sure to use full fat (regular) cream cheese and have it, as well as the eggs and cream, at room temperature. We cannot talk about cheesecakes without mentioning the pitfalls, mainly the questions of how do we prevent cracking and when are cheesecakes fully baked? First, cracks on the surface of a baked cheesecake are caused either by over beating the batter and/or by too much moisture being lost as the cheesecake bakes (over baking). In order to prevent cracks make sure you beat the ingredients at low speed as, unlike a butter cake, you do not want to incorporate a lot of air into the batter. Beat the ingredients only until they are nice and smooth. As far as over baking of cheesecakes, this is a common problem as it can be difficult to know when a cheesecake is done. The thing to remember is that you want the cheesecake to be firm but, if you shake the pan gently, it should still wobble a little, and the center will still look a little wet. Once baked, immediately run a knife or spatula around the inside edge of the cheesecake, because the cheesecake does shrink as it cools. For the best texture and flavor refrigerate the cheesecake at least 24 hours before serving.

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New York Cheesecake: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) with the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 inch (23 cm) round springform pan.

Crust: In a medium sized bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter and stir until all the crumbs are moistened (can also make the crust in your food processor). Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and about 1 inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of the springform pan. Cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.

Cheesecake Filling: In a small bowl, rub the lemon zest into the sugar. Stir in the flour.

In bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), place the cream cheese, sugar mixture, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium low speed until smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (about 30 seconds) after each addition. Add the whipping cream and beat until incorporated. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and pour in the filling. Place the springform pan on a larger baking pan, to catch any drips, and place in the oven.

Bake for 15 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) and continue to bake for about another 60 - 70 minutes or until firm (the center of the cheesecake will still look a little wet, and if you gently shake the pan the cheesecake will jiggle just a bit). Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.

Topping: Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Spread the topping over the warm cheesecake and return to oven to bake for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Immediately run a knife or spatula around the inside edge of pan to loosen the cheesecake (helps prevent the surface from cracking as it cools). Let cool completely at room temperature and then place in the refrigerator, uncovered, to chill for about one hour. Then cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight. 

Makes one - 9 inch (23 cm) cheesecake.

To freeze: Place the cooled cheesecake on a baking pan and freeze, uncovered, until firm. Then wrap in foil and place in a freezer bag or container. Seal and return to freezer. Can be frozen for several months. Thaw uncovered cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight.

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2 cups (200 grams) Graham Cracker Crumbs or finely crushed Digestive Biscuits

1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated white sugar

1/2 cup (113 grams) melted butter

Cheesecake Filling:

1 tablespoon (4 grams) freshly grated lemon zest

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

3 tablespoons (27 grams) all purpose flour

32 ounces (900 grams) cream cheese, room temperature (use full fat, not reduced or fat free cream cheese)

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

5 large (250 grams) eggs, at room temperature

1/3 cup (80 ml/grams) heavy whipping cream, at room temperature (cream with a 35-40% butterfat content)

Topping: (optional)

1 cup (240 grams) sour cream, at room temperature (not low fat or fat free)

2 tablespoons (30 grams) granulated white sugar

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

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