Since I was little, cheesecake has always been one of my favorite desserts. When I would go out to eat with my family, if we ordered off the dessert menu you could bet that nine times out of ten I wanted the cheesecake.
One of my favorite places to eat when I was younger was T.G.I. Fridays, and it was where my family went for most of my birthday dinners. My dad has always loved cheesecake too, and I passed my fondness of it on to my eldest son as well.
1 and 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped unsalted nuts (walnuts, pecans, etc. with this recipe I actually did about half and half of both)
1/4 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
5 large eggs
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
2 pounds (four 8 ounce packages) cream cheese, preferably Kraft’s Philadelphia brand
1 cup sour cream
1 cup heavy cream
juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 heaping tablespoons cornstarch (this helps give the cheesecake a silky finish and helps prevent cracking)
1/2 carton (or 1/2 pound) fresh strawberries
1/4 cup white sugar
One 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 and ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup finely chopped unsalted nuts (walnuts, pecans, etc. with this recipe I actually did about half and half of both)
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 5 large eggs
- 1 and ½ cups sugar
- 2 pounds (four 8 ounce packages) cream cheese, preferably Kraft's Philadelphia brand
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- juice of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 heaping tablespoons cornstarch (this helps give the cheesecake a silky finish and helps prevent cracking)
- For the Strawberry Sauce
- ½ carton (or ½ pound) fresh strawberries
- ¼ cup white sugar
- One 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix together all ingredients for the crust. Press into the bottom of a 9 or 10 inch springform pan. Place pan with crust in oven for 8-10 minutes, until crust looks flaky and not as "wet". Once crust is done, remove from the oven and then preheat oven to 425 degrees. After you turn the temperature up fill a roast pan about halfway full with boiling water. Adjust your bottom rack to it's lowest setting and place the roast pan on the bottom rack. What this does is create humidity in the oven, which helps your cheesecake to not crack.
- While your pan is in the oven and the crust is warming, mix the filling ingedients together. Be sure that all filling ingredients have been brought to room temperature before this step. This helps the filling to maintain the same temperature and blend better together, thus (once again!!) less likely to crack. (I get obsessed over this!!)
- Add each ingredient one at a time, make sure to keep your mixer on low during this step. First add each egg one at a time, making sure the first is blended well before adding the next. Then add the sugar slowly and mix till it seems blended well with the eggs.
- Add the cream cheese one by one. This should already be pretty soft since it's been brought to room temperature. Be sure the mix is fairly smooth before adding each additonal block of cream cheese. Now add the sour cream, heavy cream, lemon juice and corn starch one by one ensuring the mix is staying smooth. Without overmixing!
- Once the crust has cooled and the filling is sufficiently blended together, lightly grease the sides of the pan. Pour the filling into the pan gently so as not to separate any of the crust. Once it's all in the pan on top of the crust you can gently drop the pan onto your counter a few times to release any air bubbles. Or you can let it sit for about 15 minutes on the counter and the air bubbles will come to the top. You can gently pop them with a wooden spoon.
- Place your pan on the middle rack in the preheated oven, directly over the roasting pan.
- Bake for 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn oven down to 275 degrees and bake for an hour.
- Turn off oven, immediately take a knife and run it under hot water. Run it around the very edges of the pan between the cake and the pan. Once you do that, immediately close the oven back and leave the cheesecake in the oven for at least 2 hours. I left it overnight, but it's up to you. Once the two hours is up, cover and refrigerate the cheesecake for at least a few hours to help it set. I keep it in the springform during this time.
- Shortly befoe you're ready to start slicing the cake to serve it, you can make the toppings. This is when I remove the springform around the cake. It should seperate easily at this point.
- For the strawberry topping take all the stems off the strawberries and wash them. Slice all the strawberries up and place them all in a bowl with ¼ cup sugar. Cover and place in your refrigerator for about an hour. Remove a small handful of strawberry slices and place the remaining strawberries in a blender. Blend until well mixed. Once they are blended sufficiently, you can add your strawberry slices to the sauce and this serves well over the cheesecake.
- For the butterscotch topping combine condensed milk, butterscotch chips and salt in a saucepan over low heat. Mix and remove one chips are melted through. Add vinegar and cinnamon and mix again. Serve over cheesecake warm.
- You can sprinkle some leftover graham cracker crumbs with either topping and serve.