Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Ultimate Cheesecake

Cook Time: 45 min
Level: Intermediate
Yield: 6-8 servings


* 2 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 30 squares)
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 stick unsalted butter, melted


* 1 pound cream cheese, 2 (8-ounce) blocks, softened
* 3 eggs
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 pint sour cream
* 1 lemon, zested
* 1 dash vanilla extract
* Warm Lemon Blueberry Topping, recipe follows


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, combine the crust ingredients with a fork until
evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch
springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the crumbs into the
pan and, using the bottom of a measuring cup or the smooth bottom of a
glass, press the crumbs down into the base and 1-inch up the sides.
Refrigerate for 5 minutes.

For the Filling:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed
for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, 1 at a
time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar
and beat until creamy, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add sour cream, lemon zest,
and vanilla. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the
beaters. The batter should be well mixed but not over-beaten. Pour the
filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and fold up
the sides around it. Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour
boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway
up the sides of the cheesecake pan; the foil will keep the water from
seeping into the cheesecake. Bake for 45 minutes. The cheesecake
should still jiggle (it will firm up after chilling), so be careful
not to overcook. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the
refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours. Loosen the
cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula
around the inside rim. Unmold and transfer to a cake plate. Using a
spatula spread a layer of Warm Lemon Blueberry topping over the

Slice the cheesecake with a thin, non-serrated knife that has been
dipped in hot water. Wipe dry after each cut.
Warm Lemon Blueberries:

* 1 pint blueberries
* 1 lemon, zested and juiced
* 2 tablespoons sugar

In a small saucepan add all the ingredients and simmer over medium
heat for 5 minutes or so until the fruit begins to break down
slightly. Leave to cool before spreading on cheesecake.

Yield: 6 servings

Cook Time: 5 minutes

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