It’s that day again. A day my children especially love, for some strange reason. The day my brain says I’m still twenty-one . . . and everything else says “SAY WHAT?!”
My children do not grasp the adult concept that older is not necessarily better. I keep hearing comments such as this: “Mom, just think. In five years I will be 15 and you will be 40!”
Now do you understand why I am posting a recipe for cheesecake? Sometimes the heart needs something to prop it up on days like this.
And, by the way, I’m going to leave you guessing as to how old I am. It’s not that the actual number is an embarrassment or anything. No, uh . . . the embarrassment is that I’m not real good at remembering exactly how old I am! And there’s no way I’m going to stoop low enough to dig out the calculator and figure it out. So I ask my kids, since they love to keep track of it.
Anyway, enough about birthdays, and age, and getting old, and gray hairs, and . . . . let’s talk cheesecake.
Rich, creamy, luscious cheesecake.
You will need to prepare your springform pan. It calls for a 9 1/2 inch pan, but mine is well over 10 and made the cheesecake not quite so tall. I also had to decrease the baking times.
My pan is old and getting rather deformed from use. So I usually wrap it in foil to catch butter drippings. You can also set your springform pan on a shallow baking sheet.
You will need 15 graham crackers for your crust. Original recipe says 8 ounces. This is about 1 1/2 packages, but I counted them out just to be sure.
Mix the crust together and press it into your pan, going up the sides as well. Once the crust was in, I popped it in the freezer while I mixed up the filling. Supposedly, this helps it set up.
One simple key to a good cheesecake is to have SOFT cream cheese. You won’t get a smooth, creamy texture when your cream cheese is still in lumps due to being too cold. I even zap mine in the microwave if it’s not warm enough. It really only needs to get to room temperature, but too many times I am late in getting the cream cheese out on the counter and it doesn’t have time to warm up.
When it’s time to add your eggs, you will want to add them one at a time. And this is important: you must scrape the bottom of your bowl often. Very often. As in, you’re-sick-of-scraping-your-bowl kind of often. But believe me, you will like the fact of no surprise lumps of cream cheese that somehow got hidden in the filling.
The baking directions are a little strange, compared to some other cheesecake recipes. And be sure to watch it well for the first few minutes. I burnt mine a smidgen. But that was well covered up with berry pie filling later!
We like to top this with our own homemade red raspberry, blueberry, or black berry pie filling. It’s delicious with it drizzled over this cheesecake!
- 15 full-size graham crackers (or approximately 1 1/2 packages), crushed
- 1/2 cup melted salted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 5 (8-oz. boxes) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 5 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Mix crushed graham crackers, melted butter and sugar together.
- Press into bottom and up the sides of a 9″-10″ springform pan. Put the pan into the freezer to set up while you mix the filling.
- Preheat oven to 550 degrees. If using a teflon-coated pan, heat oven to 475 degrees only.
- Mix cream cheese, sugar and flour until smooth and creamy.
- Add eggs and yolks – one at a time. Scrape bowl after each egg addition.
- Add vanilla.
- Pour filling over crust. This will be very full if using a 9″ pan.
- Bake at 550 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until puffed.
- Reduce heat to 200 degrees and bake for another hour approximately – or until cake is mostly firm. Watch cake closely as you do not want it to overbake.
- OPTIONAL: You can leave the cake in the oven to cool. This helps with reducing cracks on the top of the cheesecake – but it will also take up your oven for 4-5 hours.
- Remove from oven and run a knife around the edge to loosen.
- Chill in the refrigerator 6-8 hours or overnight.
- Serve plain or with fruit sauce drizzled on top.