It doesn’t take much to dress up a creamy cheesecake — try this New York-Style Cheesecake Recipe with fresh blueberries, strawberries or a pie filling with your favorite fruit.
New York-Style Cheesecake RecipePrep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 90 minutes
2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs (56 to 60 wafers)
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
5 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 eggs, room temperature
2 egg yolks, room temperature
1/4 cup whipping cream
Heat oven to 300°F.
In medium bowl, combine vanilla wafer crumbs and egg whites until evenly moistened. Press evenly and firmly against bottom and 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches up sides of greased 9-inch springform pan. Refrigerate.
In mixer bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, flour, lemon peel and vanilla. Beat on low speed until blended. Beat on high speed until fluffy. Add eggs and egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add cream and beat until blended. Pour into chilled crust.
Bake in center of oven for about 1 1/2 hours, or until wooden pick inserted midway between center and edge of cake comes out clean. Center will still be soft, but will firm up as cheesecake cools.
Remove from oven and carefully loosen edge of cake from pan with metal spatula or thin knife. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Refrigerate, loosely covered, until firm, at least 8 hours or overnight. Yields 12 to 16 servings.
Remove side of springform pan before serving. Top with fresh raspberries and kiwi slices or with prepared fruit pie filling, such as cherry or blueberry.
Crust can be made with graham cracker crumbs.
Vanilla wafer crumbs:
Process wafers in blender or food processor, or place in plastic bag, seal bag and crush with rolling pin or flat side of meat pounder.
Room temperature cheese:
To avoid lumps in the batter, take cream cheese out of refrigerator ahead of time, allowing it time to come to room temperature. In a pinch, you can soften it in the microwave for a few seconds, but don't overheat.
Room temperature eggs:
Using eggs that aren't refrigerator-cold prevents the fat in the cream cheese from re-hardening and making the batter look curdled or lumpy.
For a smooth, uniform batter, scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters frequently with a rubber scraper.
When is it done? Like other baked custards, cheesecake should be removed from the oven before the center is completely set. The center will jiggle slightly when pan is gently shaken. Cheesecake will continue to "cook" after it's removed, and center will firm up as it cools. Overbaked cheesecake will crack.
Carefully loosen the sides when cake first comes out of oven. The cake will shrink away from the pan as it cools. Cracks are less likely to form if cake is not stuck to sides of pan.
For easier slicing, use a thin-bladed knife. Wipe knife with clean damp towel or rinse knife under warm water after each cut.
Refrigerate any leftover cheesecake promptly.