Crust: You can use the classic graham cracker or I’ve used shortbread or vanilla cookies. All are great so whatever your preference may be.
2 ½ cups of ‘cookie’ or graham crackers or mix of crushed into crumbs
¼ plus 1 Tbls sugar
¼ tsp salt
4 Tbsp melted butter to wet crumbs
3 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, soft at room temperature
1 cup of plain Greek yogurt (I use yogurt but you can go classic and use sour cream. I think yogurt gives it ever so slightly a tang and creaminess)
¼ cup sour cream
1 ¼ cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks, room temperature
3 Tbsp all purpose flour
½ cup heavy cream
A little lemon – zest of one lemon, juice of ½ lemon added to batter
Strawberry, Cherry (I love), Chocolate with hazelnut topping
* Preheat oven 425
* Crust: lightly grease a 9” springform pan or spray with non-stick cooking spray
* Crush graham crackers or cookie crumbs or use a food processor, mix in sugar and salt and blend until fine crumbs. Add melted butter and stir until well combined. Press mixture down firmly into the prepared pan and set aside.
Cheesecake: In mixer beat soften cream cheese to break it up and smooth, add yogurt and sour cream and continue to beat until smooth and creamy
*Add sugar and vanilla and beat till smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl as needed
Add eggs and egg yolks and beat til mixed in and smooth.
Add in flour until just combined
Fold in cream and mix until incorporated into the batter
* Pour filling into the prepared crust and spread evenly. Slight tap springform pan on counter to pop any air bubbles that may have occurred.
* Wrap the bottom and up the sides slightly with foil (best if one large piece of foil can be used so not to leak any water in the bottom of pan and wet the crust) and may need to use several pieces of foil to make sure bottom of pan is completely wrapped.
* Place the cheesecake pan into a large baking pan with sides. Fill the pan up with warm-hot water till it comes up the sides slightly. This is a water bath and will help prevent having ‘cracks’ in the cheesecake.
Place the pan in the 425 degrees oven and bake cheesecake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and continue to bake cheesecake for 1 hour undisturbed. Turn the oven off and let it rest in the oven for another 30 minutes. The cheesecake will continue to cook and slowly cool down. Test with a toothpick to see if cheesecake is done and not wet.
Remove cheesecake from oven and let rest on the counter until cooled down, 30 minutes or more. Run a knife around the edge to loosen cheesecake. Remove from springform pan ring and cover cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.
* Top cheesecake, if desired, to your preference: Strawberry or Cherry sauce, Chocolate with crushed hazelnuts or simply plain. The cheesecake will be delicious to serve in any way.
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