Cheesecake is a deliciously creamy traditional dessert. The most common form of cheesecake is the basic New York cheesecake with a graham cracker crust.
Ingredients and supplies:
- 1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon peel zest
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 3 eggs plus 1 extra egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Rolling pin or food processor
- Round pan (springform pan with parchment paper liner is best)
- Wire whisk or electric mixer
- Mixing bowl
- Drinking glass
- Prepare the ingredients. Crumble the graham crackers into very small crumbs. If you have a food processor, you may wish to use it to make fine crumbs from your graham crackers. If you don't, use a rolling pin to make the process go faster. Carefully melt the butter in your microwave or over the stove.
- Make the crust. Stir the crushed crackers, cinnamon, and melted butter in a bowl. Make sure that they are fully combined; the butter will hold the graham cracker crust together. Once fully mixed, press the crust mixture into the bottom and sides of the pan. Although a springform pan works best, any round metal pan should work. It will work best if you line the pan with parchment paper first. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the crust flat.
- Prepare the cheesecake filling. Once the crust has been made, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Then mix the cream cheese, lemon and orange zests, and vanilla. Beat by hand or with an electric mixer until the mixture turns smooth, but do not over-mix. Next, add the sugar and flour, mixing until they have been incorporated into the cream cheese. Finally, add the eggs and cream, mixing until they have been incorporated into the cheesecake. If you wish to change the flavor of the actual cheesecake filling, you can add chocolate or fruit at this stage. Be careful not to overmix the cheesecake, as it will make the cake light and airy instead of dense and creamy.
- Bake. Now, pour the cream cheese mixture into the pan. Bake for approximately an hour. Do not use a toothpick or knife to test for doneness; instead, wiggle the cake slightly. The very center of the cheesecake should jiggle slightly when the cake is done baking.
- Enjoy! Let the cake cool completely, and then refrigerate it. It should be served cold. Top with fruit or sour cream topping, or get creative with chocolate sauce, whipped cream, or chocolate shavings. Classic New York cheesecake is most often served with cherries on top.
Cheesecake slices can look very fancy for serving after a dinner party, even though they are so easy to make. This delicious cheesecake has a rich flavor and smooth, silky texture that is sure to please.