Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Basic Cheesecake

This recipe is one of my favorites for a basic 6" cheesecake.  It is a "real" cheesecake that has a creamy, smooth quality to it. Some people may be afraid of the cheesecake old wives' tales but it really can be quite simple. I usually give it a jiggle to see if the middle appears set. If in doubt, I find that cheesecake really doesn't get overdone, it just cracks a bit on top but is still yummy.

Basic Cheesecake
2 cups crushed graham crackers
1/2 cup butter, melted

Combine the graham crackers with the butter and press into the bottom and up the sides of a 6" springform pan.  This can be tricky, don't worry about getting the crust up the whole side. It's alright if the filling is higher than the crust.

3 eggs
2 8ounce packages of cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla (PLEASE do not use imitation)
3 cups sour cream
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (this can be omitted but I like the combination of the hint of lemon when serving it with a berry sauce)

Beat the eggs well. Add the cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla and beat until light and smooth. Add the sour cream and just beat until blended. Pour into crust and bake at 350° for 60-70 minutes. When making cheesecake, use the time as a guideline, different elevations and different ovens may take less or more time. Remember the jiggle test, it should jiggle like set jello, not like soup.

Berry Topping:
3 cups fresh or frozen berries
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and stir continuously until thick and bubbly. Cool.

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