Recipe by Pepina Rae
This is the ULTIMATE New York Cheesecake. This one is just heavenly!
Top Review by Papa D 1946-2012
Wonderful cheesecake, rich and creamy flavor. I did use cherry pie filling for the topping as my supermarket didn't have any fresh cherries. *Made for the Jan. 2010 Food Network Challenge: Hail to the Chef's in the Photo Forum event*
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 24 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (recommended-Meyer lemon)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 5 large eggs, separated
- 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 12 ounces creme fraiche
- 2 tablespoons sugar
CHERRY CONFIT TOPPING
- 1 lb fresh cherries, pitted
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1⁄2 vanilla bean, split
- 2 sprigs thyme (tied with string)
Directions See How It's Made
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- CRUST: Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and butter together in a mixing bowl.
- Pour the mixture into a 9" non-stick teflon springform pan and using a mixing cup press the crumbs into the base. Using your fingers gently press crumbs into the sides of the pan.
- Bake for 6 minutes. Let cool.
- FILLING: In a food processor, cream the cream cheese and the sugar together.
- Add the zest and vanilla. Blend until smooth.
- Add 5 egg yolks and heavy cream, pulse until smooth and pour into a large clean bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until a soft froth forms. Add 2 tablespoons sugar slowly to the egg whites and continue to whisk until soft peaks form.
- Fold into cream cheese, a little bit at a time until fully integrated. Then pour into the prepared springform pan.
- Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until firm.
- Let cool for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- TOPPING: Mix the creme fraiche and sugar together and gently spread over the top of the cooled cheesecake.
- Bake for 5 minutes.
- Let cool until the topping is set or chill overnight. Best served at room temperature.
- DIRECTIONS FOR CHERRY CONFIT TOPPING: In a medium non-corrosive saucepan place water, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and thyme. Bring to the boil, turn down heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add cherries and simmer for 1 hour. If more liquid is needed add water. Continue to simmer until the cherry mixture is thick and the cherries are soft. Pour into a clean container and refrigerate until ready to use.