The other day, my daughter came home from work asking me if I would consider making a cheesecake for dessert. Instantly, I thought of a recipe that was recently posted by Holly over at Life as a Lofthouse. In fact, I had printed this recipe and added it to my "recipes to make one day" folder.
Personally, I love cheesecake plain, so I skipped out on the strawberry topping and had no regrets.
The verdict? I am going to have to agree with Holly when she said Tyler Florence's recipe was AMAZING!
TIP: Use a mini chopper to get finely crushed crackers.INGREDIENTS (via Life as a Lofthouse):
2 cups finely crushed graham crackers (about 30 squares)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
2 (8 ounce) blocks of cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 pint sour cream
dash of vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, combine crust ingredients together with a fork until evenly moistened. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick spray.
Pour crumbs into the pan, and using the bottom of a measuring cup or smooth bottom of a glass cup, press crumbs into the bottom and 1-inch up along sides. Refrigerate crust while you prepare the filling.
For filling: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese on low speed for one minute, or until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat slowly just until combined. Do not overmix! Gradually, add in sugar and beat until creamy. (About 1 minute)
Add sour cream, vanilla and lemon zest. Periodically, scrape down sides of bowl and beaters. The batter should be well-mixed, but not overbeaten. Pour the filling into the crust-filled pan and smooth top with a spatula.
Bake for 45-50 minutes. (Be careful not to over bake!) The center will still be slightly jiggly. (It will firm up while it chills) Let cool for 30 minutes, and then loosely cover with saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator for atleast 4 hours. Carefully loosen the sides of the cheesecake from the pan with a thin spatula or knife, and then carefully remove sides of pan.
Serve with Strawberry Topping, if desired.