Oh my God. I have many things to say about this cheesecake.
This is another recipe that I did not adapt at all.
As she promises early on, there were no cracks. As she also states, THIS IS THE RICHEST CHEESECAKE YOU WILL EVER CONSUME NO JOKE.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Yeah, okay, I can handle it.” Cheesecake is my favorite food (despite that I’m lactose intolerant ;-; ). I’m the type of person who looks at a Kraft Mac & Cheese box and says, “Family-sized…OR ME-SIZED.” But for realz, it’s intense. You can see that I totally ignored the portions saying that I should cut it into 16 slices and cut it into eight above? Yeah, no, that was a mistake, and I ended up unknowingly following the portion sizes after my first oversized piece. NinerBakes provides a recipe for a smaller cheesecake, and I recommend following that instead of hers (especially since the original calls for something like 7 packs of cream cheese, Jesus Christ).
I’m usually picky about crust, but this was basically heavenly.
Even though the cooking instructions seem incredibly nuanced and annoying and the ingredients will leave you bankrupt, it really does turn out basically the perfect plain cheesecake.
For the Cheesecake Crust: 8 whole graham crackers, broken into pieces 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Cheesecake Filling: 40 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature and cut into 1-inch pieces 1½ cups granulated sugar, divided ⅛ teaspoon salt ⅓ cup sour cream 2 teaspoons lemon juice 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 egg yolks 6 eggs 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
For the Fresh Strawberry Topping: 2 pounds strawberries, hulled and cut into ¼-inch slices (about 3 cups sliced strawberries) ½ cup granulated sugar Pinch of salt 1 cup strawberry jam 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1. Make the Cheesecake Crust: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 300 degrees F. By hand or using a food processor, crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs. In a medium bowl stir together the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Pour the melted butter into the bowl and use a fork to toss the mixture until it is evenly moistened. Transfer the crumbs to a 9-inch springform pan and press evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust until it begins to smell toasted and starts to brown around the edges, about 13 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cook while the filling is prepared.
2. Make the Cheesecake Filling: Increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees F. Beat the cream cheese on medium-low speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl, add ¾ cup of the sugar and the salt and beat on medium-low speed for another 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the remaining ¾ cup of sugar and beat again on medium-low speed for 1 minute.
4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla, and beat on low speed for 1 minute.
5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg yolks and beat on medium-low speed for 1 minute. Add the eggs, 2 at a time, beating for about 20 seconds between additions and scraping the bowl between additions.
6. Without touching the crust, brush the sides of the inside of the pan with melted butter. Pour the filling into the pan and bake for 10 minutes. Without opening the oven door, reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees F and continue to bake until the center of the cheesecake registers 150 degrees F on an instant-read digital thermometer, about 1½ hours.
7. Place the pan on a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes, then run a paring knife around the cake to loosen it from the pan. Allow the cake to cool until it is barely warm, 2½ to 3 hours. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours (the cheesecake can be refrigerated for up to 4 days).
8. Make the Fresh Strawberry Topping: In a large bowl, toss together the sliced strawberries and the sugar. Let sit for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to combine.
9. Process the jam in a food processor until smooth, about 10 seconds (or, whisk vigorously until the jam is completely smooth). Place the jam in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the jam is dark and no longer frothy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, then pour over the strawberries and stir to combine. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours (the strawberry topping is best served within 1 day of making it).
10. Serve the Cheesecake: To unmold the cheesecake, wrap a hot kitchen towel around the outside of the pan and hold in place for 1 minute. Remove the sides of the pan, then slide a thin metal spatula between the crust and pan bottom to loosen, then slide the cheesecake onto a serving platter. (If you prefer you can leave the metal bottom under the cheesecake and place it on a serving plate.) Let the cheesecake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.