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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Creamy Cheesecake Recipe

One of my favorite desserts to make anytime of the season has to be Cheesecake. With its cookie-crumb crust, smooth, dense filling and fresh fruit topping the classic creamy cheesecake is an irresistible choice for someone craving something sweet! Indulge yourself, try out the recipe below and make your taste buds want more!

The estimated preparation time for this recipe is approximately 25 minutes, plus cooling and chilling time. Estimated baking time is around an hour and 15 minutes. The ingredients will make a pie that serves 16.

11 whole graham crackers *22 squares
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted in 2 tablespoons of sugar

5 packages of softened cream cheese *8 ounces each
1 1/3 cups of sugar
3 tablespoons of all purpose flour
3 large eggs
1/2 cup of sour cream
2 teaspoons of finely grated lemon peel
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

2 pints of strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup of optional raspberries

1.) Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a blender to crush the crackers into crumbs, or crush by hand. Add the butter and sugar making sure to evenly mix together. After mixture becomes dough like press onto the base of a 9-inch spring-form pan and chill.

2.) For the filling, place the cream cheese in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer set on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes. Blend in the sugar and add the flour while beating until combined. On low speed beat in the eggs, one at a time, just until blended, scraping the side of bowl often. Add the sour cream, lemon peel and vanilla extract and beat just until blended. Pour the filling over the crust in the pan.

3.) Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn off oven and keep the oven door ajar. Let the cheesecake sit in oven for 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Run a knife around sides. Cover and chill for 6 hours or overnight.

4.) When ready to serve, remove the pan sides. Slide the cheesecake onto a serving plate. For the topping, overlap the strawberries in circles on the cheesecake. Fill the center with the optional raspberries for extra flavor.

I hope anyone who tries this recipe enjoys it as much as I did!

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