Cheesecake recipes usually depend on the region it's baked, not to mention the cultural background of the baker. New York-style cheesecake in addition to cream cheese and eggs, also include heavy cream or sour cream and is typically rich, dense, and smooth with a creamy consistency. This variation uses sour cream as a topping, applied after the cheesecake is cooked. It is mixed with vanilla extract and sugar, then baked for another 15 minutes to finish it off.
2 cups of graham crackers, finely ground
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
4 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
5 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*This layer is what makes it a New York style cheesecake
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
10 ounces sour cherries, pitted (*I used Trader Joe's jarred Morello Cherries)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup water
*Grease, or butter, a 9-inch springform pan. Preheat oven to 350º F.
- In a medium sized bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan. Cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.
- In bowl of an electric mixer place the cream cheese, sugar, and flour. Beat on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until ingredients are completely combined and mixture smooth (about 2-3 minutes.)
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the whipping cream, lemon & orange zests, vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.
- Remove the crust from the fridge and pour in the filling. Place the cheesecake pan on a larger baking pan in case of leakage and place on center rack of oven.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 350º F and then lower oven temperature to 250º F and continue to bake for another 60 - 90 minutes. You want the edges firm but the center of the cheesecake slightly wobbly. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
- In a small bowl combine the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Spread the topping over the warm cheesecake and return to the oven to bake for another 15 minutes a 250º F.
- Remove from oven and carefully run a knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the cheesecake from the springform pan. This will prevent the surface from cracking as it cools.
- Let it cool completely before covering with plastic wrap. Refrigerate several hours, preferably overnight.
Cherry Topping (optional):
- Place all ingredients together in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil.
- Once boiling, cook it for an additional 1 - 2 minutes then remove from heat. Cool completely.
- Remove springform pan and transfer cheesecake to a plate. Spread topping over chilled cheesecake.