This is a classic New York cheesecake ... made with Philadelphia cream cheese!
New York cheesecake is distinct from Italian cheesecake in that it’s made with cream cheese instead of ricotta. The cream cheese is sweetened with some sugar, beaten with eggs, and baked to a dense, rich, creamy finish. The crust is traditionally made with graham cracker crumbs, but ground Oreo cookies please any chocolate lover.
Equipment: dry and wet measuring cups; measuring spoons; mixing bowls; rubber spatula; springform pan; hand or standing mixer for the crust:
2 cups ground Oreo cookies (about 30 cookies), or 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons butter, melted
(3 tablespoons sugar if using graham cracker crumbs)
for the filling: 2 pounds cream cheese, softened 1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/3 cup heavy cream 4 large eggs
for the topping:
8 ounces sour cream 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 tablespoon superfine sugar 1 pint strawberries
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
1. To make the crust, combine the Oreo crumbs (or graham cracker crumbs), sugar and melted butter. Press the crumb mixture firmly on the bottom and sides of springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
"ILOC tip: Remove the cream cheese from the refrigerator an hour before you plan to bake the cake to help it soften, which will make beating it easier."
2. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Beat the cream cheese for one minute with an electric mixer on medium speed until blended and creamy. Then add the sugar, flour, and vanilla. Blend in the heavy cream, then lower the speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time, so that each egg is fully blended before the next one is added. Pour the filling in the pan.
3. Bake for one hour, or until the center is almost set. The cheesecake might rise like a soufflé and crack at the top. This is not a problem. Remove the cheesecake from the oven, and let it rest for an hour until it has cooled and settled to be more or less level with the top of the pan.
4. Prepare the topping. Combine the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla and spread over the top of the cheesecake.
"Refrigerate the cheesecake overnight for the very best results and prettiest slices."
5. Line the border of the sour cream top with strawberries. Run a paring knife around the edge of the pan before removing the springform rim.
Makes 12 servings.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
“I love to use chocolate covered strawberries, especially when making this cake for a celebration! ”