I have to share with you a little story about my first making cheesecake. On my second date with my husband, he took me to a special, local "in-the-know" restaurant. He told me I had to try their cheesecake because it was the best! I proclaimed..."I can make cheesecake." Then of course, I had to make it for him. After our date, I frantically called my mother..."You have to teach me how to make cheesecake!"
Mother took a lot of pride in her cheesecake, but she used a graham cracker crust (really good). She was always a little envious that I made her cheesecake with a cookie dough crust.
The cookie dough crust sets this New York cheesecake apart from the rest. It takes some effort, but I've made it a little easier over the years. It's putting the crust on the sides of the pan that is the most time-consuming...oh, I used to measure it, roll it out, measure it. Now I don't put near the effort in all that rolling out and measuring. Are you ready for a dessert that will make a huge presentation? Here's the recipe I've made a little easier with which you'll really wow everyone...
The Way to His Heart
Hint: Read all ingredients and recipe before you make and be prepared to devote your full attention to this project.
Approx. 12 Large Servings
For the Cookie-Dough Crust
- 1 c. sifted all-purpose four
- 1/4 c. sugar
- grated rind from one lemon (save lemon for juice for cake batter)
- yolk from 1 large egg (save white for that omelette you're going to make in the morning)
- 1/2 c. butter softened at room temperature (do not melt!) plus extra for coating sides of pan
- Butter-flavored cooking spray (to help with rolling and handling the dough)
For the Cake Batter
- 1 & 3/4 c. sugar
- 1/4 c. sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp. mace
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 5 pkg.'s (8 oz. ea.) premium cream cheese
- 5 large eggs
- yolks from 2 large eggs (add whites to the one you saved from the crust for your omelette)
- juice from the one lemon you used for rind
- 1/4 c. premium sour cream
For the Topping
- 1/2 c. premium sour cream
- one approx. 21 oz. can premium pie filling (cherry, strawberry or blueberry)
- 2 TB very finely chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts or almonds)
On the Side
- Whipped Cream (about 1/2 c. per serving)
First Things First
- Pull out your springform pan: 9" for a tall, extra creamy cake as pictured above or 10" for more slices (crust will be a little thicker w/10" pan).
- Bring all eggs (8 total) to room temperature.
- Make dough and chill.
- After removing chilled dough from refrigerator or freezer, *bring cream cheese for cake batter to room temperature.
The Cookie-Dough Crust
- Mix flour and sugar. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Chill in refrigerator about 45 min. or freeze about 15 min.
- Preheat oven to 400º.
- *Bring cream cheese for cake batter to room temperature.
- Separate dough into thirds.
- Roll one-third of dough to cover bottom of pan (this is with the sides of the pan off). You may use wax paper over the dough to help spread...just spray the paper first with a butter-flavored cooking spray; then with a rolling pin (I use a pizza roller), roll over the paper spreading the dough evenly as possible over the pan bottom.
- Bake in preheated oven (400º) for about 4 to 8 min., or until a very light brown--Watch Closely--will overcook easily!
- Butter (just do it the old-fashioned way--really use butter) the sides of the pan well! Attach the sides of the springform pan to the bottom with the precooked crust. Cool.
Pan bottom with prebaked crust
8. This is the tricky part...adding the dough to the sides of the pan. Roughly roll between saran wrap, separately, each half of the remaining dough into about 2" wide strips. Don't worry about the strips being perfect. Spray your fingers with the butter-flavored cooking spray and just pick up the dough in about 2-3" pieces at a time and press about two-thirds of the way up, distributing evenly as possible, onto the sides of the pan. I find using a plastic knife and spoon (sprayed with the butter-flavored cooking spray) helps in pressing the dough to the sides of the pan once you have the dough in place.
(For clarification, at this point you will not put the pan with the crust back in the oven until you fill it with the cake batter.)
The Cake Batter
- Preheat the oven to 475º.
- Mix sugar, flour, mace and salt. Set aside.
- Beat the cream cheese well until soft.
- Gradually blend the dry ingredients into the cream cheese, keeping the mixture smooth.
- Add eggs and egg yolks one at a time. This is one of my best tips: for a cheesecake that does not crack...don't overbeat the eggs. I avoid overbeating by cracking an egg into a cup or saucer (to make sure the egg is okay, of course), adding the egg to the mixture and without stopping, cracking the next egg into a cup, then adding to the mixture...repeating these steps until all the eggs and yolks are in the batter. Then I give the batter a quick little extra beating and blend in the lemon juice and cream. Give the batter one last quick little extra beating. The cake will probably settle a little after it cools, but should not crack using this method.
- Pour batter into pan.
- Bake in preheated very hot - 475º oven for 10-15 min. Watch closely to avoid overbrowning!
- Leaving the cake in the oven, reduce the temperature to very low - 225º and bake 1 hour longer.
- Turn off the heat and leave the cake in the oven for about 1/2 hr.
- Remove the cake carefully from the oven and let stand away from drafts until cool (about 2 hrs). Remove the sides of the pan very carefully. I don't bother removing the bottom of the pan from the cake before serving...it's not worth the effort or the risk of upsetting the cake.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Spread 1/2 c. sour cream over the top of the cake within about 1" inch of the edge. Refrigerate until set (about 1 hr.). Place on a serving platter.
- Spread the pie filling over the entire top of the cake...let it drizzle as it may. Sprinkle the very finely chopped nuts over the pie filling (this is mostly for effect...just makes a better presentation). Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serve with a pretty swirl of whipped cream on the side of each plate! Be prepared for all the ooh's and ahh's you'll receive on this tall, eye-tempting cake and enjoy!
Guaranteed to Make Tastebuds Bask in Delight!