Thursday, June 24, 2010

Classic No-Fuss Cheesecake

I'm not afraid to admit that I have one too many recipe clippings.

See, I bought this great little set of drawers from Ikea a year ago: red metal, European letter-sized drawers. They were itnitally meant to house electronic cords, scrap paper, and obviously classwork and readings. Once I filled it up, I was so happy about having two drawers left empty. For once, I managed not to clutter something up!

One week later: "Hey, this is a great place to store recipe clippings!"

And yet another week more empty drawers. But that's what drawers are for, so I don't mind all that much. The only problem is, I don't manage to get around to a tenth of the recipes I store in there. I imagine I am definitely not alone in this situation, but I do have a strange habit. I collect cheesecake recipes, imagining that I will try every single one. The tweaks about water baths and that special way of pouring the filling into the pan? My drawer covers that. New York style, classic style, old-fashioned, you name it. I am the cheesecake queen... without a cheesecake. All those recipes are great, but I haven't tried a single one of them.

Hand me the family cheesecake recipe, however, and I'll go right ahead. No water baths here, or cheesecakes so high you feel like Alice in Wonderland. This is the simple, back-of-the-box version--and it's great. Sure, it might crack here or there, but as long as you're not selling it whole, does anyone really mind? The creaminess is there and so is the cheesecake taste we all like to remember (unless you dislike that particular taste, which unfortunately does exist). It may seem a little heavy for Summer temperatures, or at least that's what I thought, but it isn't. Add a little fresh strawberry or raspberry coulis, and you've got yourself the perfect dessert to go with a fresh seasonal salad.

Although, maybe after all that cheesecake, you won't be tempted to do any drawer cleaning--those unused recipes will have to wait.

PS: Expect to see a French post on the same topic in a week or so!

Classic Cheesecake
serves approximately 8 to 10

1 3/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/3 c. butter, softened
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
3 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
2 TS vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 c. sour cream

Thoroughly blend first two ingredients and 1/4 c. sugar. Press mixture firmly against the bottom and 2.5 inches up sides of an 8-in springform pan.

Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add remaining 1 c. sugar and vanilla extract. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Blend in sour cream.

Spread in prepared pan. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven, 60 to 70 minutes or until firm. Turn off oven. Leaving door slightly ajar, allow cheesecake to remain in oven 1 hour. Cool in pan.

Chill 4 hours or overnight.
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ArchaeologyAnna said...

This looks delicious! Nothing like a good classic cheesecake to wow your friends!

Paris Pastry said...

This reminds me that I haven't made a cheesecake in ages. The crust looks perfect! How did you achieve that?

Barbara said...

I'm laughing, because that's exactly what I'm doing...slowly. Cleaning drawers and closets. (How DID we come to collect so many recipes?? Obsesssed. That's what we are.)

Love your classic cheesecake! You just can't go wrong. And everyone loves it.

grace said...

yep, if i eventually make even 1% of the recipes i've snipped or bookmarked, i'd be surprised. :)
water bath, shmater bath--this is the kind of awesome recipe i like to see. the coulis is a lovely touch. :)

Mary said...

That is a gorgeous and inviting piece of cake. It really is hard to go wrong with a classic cheesecake. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

Kerstin said...

You've reminded me that I need to also work on organizing my recipes :) Your cheesecake looks absolutely perfect!

Cinnamon-Girl said...

I completely understand your dilemma! There's nothing like a classic - this looks scrumptious!

Juliana said...

Oh! The cheesecake looks so the simplicity of it :-)

Shauna from Piece of Cake said...

Yum, yum, yum. One can never try too many cheesecake recipes, that's my motto. I'll be trying yours the next time I'm craving cheesecake!

Ingrid said...

I have that "issue" too! I think many of us do. It could be worse...