Making the perfect cheesecake is actually pretty easy. And, if you don’t care what it looks like, it’s even easier. On the other hand, if you want to prepare a Carnegie Deli style cheesecake, you’ll want to keep reading.
For starters, you’re gonna need my secret family recipe (hint: it’s the same one printed on the back of a box of Keebler Graham Cracker Crumbs). Next, you’ll need a few things and a bit of hardware. Get ’em and proceed to the good part.
A Few Things
2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/2 cup butter
1 1/3 cups & 2 tbsp sugar
4 (8oz) pkgs cream cheese
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1 can strawberry pie filling
Bit of Hardware
Mixing bowl (2)
Mixing spoon (2)
9.5″ springform pan pan
Measuring cups and spoons
A broiler pan (big enough to hold the springform pan, and deep enough to hold water.)
Extra large aluminum foil (to cover bottom and sides of springform pan)
Stove, microwave/range, refrigerator, and a freezer.
The Good Part
1. Preheat your oven to 325º F (169º C) and put your strawberry pie filling can in the fridge.
2. Melt two sticks of butter in a mixing bowl, then add 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs and 2 tbsp sugar to the butter. Mix well.
3. Empty the crumb mix into the springform pan (fyi, make sure your pan is locked). Push the crumbs against the side of the pan first, then pat down the base with a spoon or your fingers. When you’re done, set the pan in your freezer.
4. In your other mixing bowl, dump 4 packages of cream cheese in and put the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds. This will soften up the cream cheese and prevent swearing. Afterwards, turn your mixer on medium and beat the cream cheese. Next, add 1 1/3 cups sugar, 2 tbsp cornstarch, and 1 tbps of vanilla. Be sure to remove all the lumps before proceeding to the next step.
5. Once combined and lump free, add the eggs one at a time, beating until they are just combined with the rest of the ingredients. Don’t beat the eggs too long as this may cause air to become trapped and your cheesecake to crack when it cooks.
6. Put the mixer away, pick up your mixing spoon, and stir in 1 cup of sour cream.
7. Get your graham cracker crust from the freezer and pour the cheesecake filling into the springform pan. You can gently wiggle the pan to get rid of the ripples and bumps on the surface.
8. Time for a water bath. Grab your aluminum foil and tear off enough sheets to cover the bottom and sides of your springform pan. Cover the bottom of the pan and place it inside the broiler pan. Add water to the broiler pan so it covers about half the height of the springform pan. FYI, using a water bath will prevent cracking.
9. Slide the broiler pan into the oven and set your timer for 55 minutes. DO NOT open the oven while the cheesecake is cooking. When the timer sounds, turn off the oven, open the oven door about 6 inches, and set the timer for 45 minutes.
10. When the timer goes off, take the springform pan out of the broiler pan and place it on the wire rack. Set the timer for 15 minutes.
11. When it’s done cooling, put the cheesecake in the fridge overnight.
12. Almost done. Take the cheesecake and the can of strawberry filling out of the fridge. Empty the filling onto the cheesecake. Bam! Done.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1.5 hours (overnight in the fridge)
Cost: ~ $40 (based on Netgrocer.com)