Cakes and Cupcakes · Desserts

The Perfect Cheesecake

cheesecakeOn my mind today: life lessons. When I was in my early twenties, I moved in with one of my best friends, despite repeated warnings from many older and wiser people.  “Don’t move in with your good friends,” they wisely warned. “All it takes is one dispute over your living situation and your friendship could be ruined forever.”

Despite these warnings, we became roomies, and what do  you know? We lived together happily for about six months. We never had a single argument about money, or bills, or parking, or food- it wasn’t until I got a boyfriend (my husband) who she didn’t like much.  To her credit, he did bring a drunk, obnoxious, friend to her fancy birthday party and ruin it, but to his defense, he has turned out to be pretty amazing.  Anyway, long story short, my friend and I eventually had quite the showdown over this and we broke up.

The point of this story is that she moved out of the apartment while I wasn’t at home, and took with her my bottle of Kahlua from Mexico that was shaped like a monkey and also the cookbook that had my absolute favorite, constantly requested, go-to, perfect cheesecake recipe in it.

I am barely exaggerating when I say I have tried ten thousand different recipes that looked like they could be that recipe for cheesecake over the last 11 years, to no avail, until very recently, when I finally found it, made it, tasted it, and realized I had finally found it.  I kid you not, I almost cried.

Turns out it was just a simple Kraft recipe and it was in front of my face all along.  I love to serve my cheesecakes with a raspberry, strawberry, or blackberry coulis.  In this case, I just spread my homemade strawberry jam all over the top. I only have one picture because well, I made it for a dinner party, and it got gobbled up.

So here I am, documenting it.  Roommates and cookbooks will come and go, but the internet is forever, right? May my favorite cheesecake recipe and I never lose each other again.

Ingredients:

For the crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the filling:
3 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. zest and 1 Tbsp. juice from 1 lemon
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs

For the sour cream topping:
1-1/2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup sugar

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 325°F.
  • Mix graham crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 min.
  • Beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, lemon zest, juice and 1/2 tsp. vanilla with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust.
  • Bake 55 min. to 1 hour or until center is almost set. Mix sour cream, 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla until well blended; carefully spread over cheesecake. Bake 10 min. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Cover with berry coulis once cooled if desired.
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