A few weekends ago, I was craving cheesecake. Big time. I was tempted to drive down to the nearest grocery store to buy one, but every time we do that I regret it. They never taste as good as they look. I decided it was time I attempted a homemade cheesecake.
I did some searching on the net, and found this one from cutie, Tyler Florence on The Food Network. The recipe had 5 stars and over 400 positive reviews. It sounded like a winner to me! I also figured anything with the word Ultimate in the title, must be good, so I gave it a shot.
The Verdict? It was AMAZING! One of the best cheesecakes I’ve ever tasted. Period. I topped ours with a simple homemade Strawberry Topping, that took it to the next level!
The Ultimate Cheesecake
- 2 cups finely crushed graham crackers about 30 squares
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup salted butter, melted
- 2 blocks (8 ounces, each) cream cheese, softened
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 pint sour cream
- dash of vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, combine crust ingredients together with a fork until evenly moistened. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick spray.
- Pour crumbs into the pan, and using the bottom of a measuring cup or smooth bottom of a glass cup, press crumbs into the bottom and 1-inch up along sides. Refrigerate crust while you prepare the filling.
- For filling: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese on low speed for one minute, or until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat slowly just until combined. Do not over-mix! Gradually, add in sugar and beat until creamy. (About 1 minute)
- Add sour cream, vanilla and lemon zest. Periodically, scrape down sides of bowl and beaters. The batter should be well-mixed, but not overbeaten. Pour the filling into the crust-filled pan and smooth top with a spatula.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. (Be careful not to over bake!) The center will still be slightly jiggly. (It will firm up while it chills) Let cool for 30 minutes, and then loosely cover with saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Carefully loosen the sides of the cheesecake from the pan with a thin spatula or knife, and then carefully remove sides of pan.
- Serve with Strawberry Topping, if desired. (Recipe Below)
1 (10 ounce) bag of frozen sliced strawberries, thawed
or 1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
3-4 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pour sliced strawberries and vanilla in a medium bowl. Sprinkle sugar over the top. Mix together and slightly smash the strawberries with a fork. Cover and store in refrigerator for atleast 1-2 hours. Serve over cheesecake!