Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Have you been to a Cheesecake Factory? Do you love to go to the Cheesecake Factory? I mean, seriously, who doesn't? Even though they have a ginormous menu of every kind of entree you can think of, everyone really goes there for cheesecake. Duh. You may not have a Cheesecake Factory in your town, or even be within several hours of one, but you can enjoy fantastic cheesecake. Just try this recipe.
If you don't have a spring form pan, go get one because you will need it to make a cheesecake. That is the only way you can really remove it from the pan in one piece without the crust and everything sticking to the pan. While you are at it, get at least a 10 1/2 inch spring form pan, otherwise it won't hold all of this filling and you don't want to waste one drop of this filling! Once you have a spring form pan, you will discover many uses for it, so don't think you won't ever use it. You will. It also helps to have a stand mixer because it takes a lot of mixing for this recipe - 30 minutes worth. I happen to have my beautiful yellow Kitchen Aid which was a Mother's Day gift from my daughter. It has changed my baking forever! If you don't have one, ask for one as a gift, go buy one, or hope and pray someone gives you one. You will see what a difference it makes.
This recipe is one of the creamiest, most delicious cheese cakes I have ever eaten. The recipe comes from one of those composite cook books that organizations use as a fund raiser. It is from the Temple Adath B'Nai Israel Sisterhood in Evansville, Indiana and is called Years of Tradition Continued. I bought it in 1991. It's a really awesome book because it explains many of their rituals, definitions of terms, blessings and holidays and I have learned a lot from it. AND, it has the best cheese cake recipe ever in it which I plan to share with you.
Here is what you need:
3 cups graham cracker crumbs (I use Rice Chex to make it gluten free)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
5 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened (you read that right)
1 (3 oz) package cream cheese softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups diary sour cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
juice of one lemon (I leave this out)
For crust, mix together graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup sugar and melted butter. Press into bottom and up sides of 10 1/2 inch spring form pan.
For filling, in a large bowl at medium speed, beat together cream cheese, 1 1/2 cups sugar and eggs for 15 minutes. (This is where the stand mixer comes in handy so your arms don't fall off) Add sour cream, vanilla (and lemon juice if using). Beat an additional 15 minutes. Pour into prepared spring form pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes. Turn off oven and let cheesecake remain in oven for 2 hours. (Try not to open oven to peek). Remove and cool on counter. Serves 12 - huge servings!
After the cake cooled, I put a can of cherry pie filling on the top and decorated it with home made whipped cream. (Instructions for making whipped cream are in the post about Strawberry Frozen Pie from yesterday). You don't need any topping, or you can use blueberry, strawberry or anything you like. Your choice. When you are finished decorating, refrigerate.
Not only is this a pretty dessert, it tastes FANTASTIC!! Reminder: if you are taking this dessert somewhere don't forget the bottom to your spring form pan is under the cake. Do NOT let it get thrown away. This is the voice of experience speaking.
For those of you who have to eat gluten free, I make this cake so our son in love can eat it by using crushed Rice Chex in place of the graham cracker crumbs. That's all you have to do. Makes a great crust and you have a fabulous dessert that is gluten free! Just thought I'd mention that.
Anytime you need a dessert or have to take something to a pot luck, give this recipe a try. It takes a little time for the baking and cooling, so give yourself plenty of time. It serves a lot of people and will get rave reviews! Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Things to Remember: