I just HAD TO try this recipe; Cheesecake is one of my husband’s favorite desserts. The original recipe includes a homemade cherry topping recipe, but there are no fresh cherries in Guatemala, and if you do find them once in a blue moon at the supermarket… it’s at a ridiculous price. So, canned cherry pie filling it shall be.
I had already made a quickie cheesecake that combines cheese, condensed milk and lemon juice. It’s refrigerated and not baked… and also has no comparison to the real thing.
This cake calls for 2.5 lbs of cheese! I recommend using Kraft’s Philadephia Cream Cheese which has the right consistency for these types of desserts, and it is also important to follow the baking times and temperatures as the recipe instructs. The cake will probably be cracked on top when it has finished baking. This is due to the drastic changes in temperature, and also to over-beating the cheese. I did a little research, and found that if you put the springform pan in another pan (a sheet pan) with water to make a bain marie, it will help prevent the cracks because it keeps the right amount of moisture inside the oven as it bakes. Overbeating the cheese creates bubbles that escape when baking, and form the cracks. This is probably what happened to me because I was using my brand new KitchenAid for the first time and may have gotten a little excited with the beating . . .
Cracks or no cracks, this cake is delicious.
New York Cheesecake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
8 ounces, about 15 graham cracker cookies
8 tablespoons (1 stick or 4 ounces or 113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Very tall cheesecake filling:
5 (8-ounce) packages Philadelphia cream cheese
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
5 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 can cherry pie filling
- Make crumb crust: Stir together crust ingredients and press onto bottom and half way up to the sides, of a buttered 9 1/2-inch (or 24 cm) springform pan. You can fill it right away, or put in in the freezer while you make the filling.
- Now, off to make very tall cheesecake filling. Preheat oven to 550 degrees (yes, this is correct).
- 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; I cannot stress this enough as if you do not, you’ll end up with unmixed stripes of cream cheese.
- Put 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. Please 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, and then chill it, loosely covered, at least 6 hours.
- Spread topping (if using) over chilled cheesecake.
- I prefer to eat this at room temperature, it’s creamier that way.
- Do ahead: Cheesecake keeps, covered and chilled, 2 weeks.
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