My husband loves cheesecake – it is definitely his favorite dessert. So this year I agreed to undertake the making of a homemade cheesecake for his birthday! It turned out delicious (creamy vanilla with just a hint of lemon)… and not as hard as I anticipated. It was actually really fun to make! Having said that, cheesecake will always be reserved for special occasions! Next time I can’t wait to try the chocolate or raspberry swirl. This recipe came from Erin’s friend Lisa S, who Erin reports is “famous” for her cheesecakes… and I can see why!!
submitted by Brittany
1 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
1 Tb sugar
6 Tb unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To make the crust, combine the graham crackers, sugar and melted butter until moistened. Pour into a 9-inch springform pan. With your hands, press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and about 1 inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
2 1/2 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 c sugar
5 whole extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 c sour cream
1 Tb lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees. To make the filling, cream the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs and egg yolks, 2 at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the bowl and beater as necessary. With the mixer on low, add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and pour into the cooled crust. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 225 degrees and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and open the door wide. The cake will not be completely set in the center. Allow the cake to sit in the oven with the oven door open for 30 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 2 to 3 hours, until completely cooled. Wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove the cake from the springform pan by carefully running a hot knife around the outside of the cake. Leave the cake on the bottom of the springform pan for serving.
**To make the raspberry swirl: Take a package of frozen raspberries and heat over medium heat with sugar to taste. Mix cornstarch and water until smooth (I eyeball this) and add to the raspberry mixture. This will allow the mixture to thicken. Once it boils the raspberry mixture has reached its thickest point. To swirl it, add half of the cream cheese mixture to the crust and then spoon in the raspberry mixture, saving some for top as well. Add the rest of the cream cheese and then more raspberries and then take a knife and swirl it as much as you want. Bake it just like the recipe says.
**To make the chocolate swirl: Melt 1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips over a double boiler. To swirl it, add half of the cream cheese mixture to crust and then spoon in melted chocolate, saving some for the top. Add the rest of the cream cheese mixture and then more chocolate. Take a knife and swirl as much as you want. Bake it just like the recipe says.