BLUE RIBBON CHEESECAKE
I have won numerous awards with this recipe, also affectionately called “Patty’s Favorite Cheesecake” after my mom, my biggest fan.
Serves 10 to 12
• 1-1/4 cups (300 mL) graham cracker crumbs
• 1/4 cup (50 mL) unsalted butter, melted
• 4 packages (each 8 ounces/250 g) cream cheese, softened
• 1-1/4 cups (300 mL) granulated sugar
• 4 eggs
• 3 tablespoons (45 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup (125 mL) sour cream
• 1/4 cup (50 mL) granulated sugar
• 1 tablespoon (15 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) vanilla extract
• 2 cups (500 mL) fresh strawberries, sliced
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and prepare a 9-inch (23 cm) cheesecake pan, ungreased, or springform pan with 3-inch (7.5 cm) sides, greased.
In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of cheesecake pan and freeze.
In a mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until very smooth, for 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in lemon juice and vanilla.
Pour over frozen crust, smoothing out to sides of pan. Bake in preheated oven until top is light brown and center has a slight jiggle to it, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool on the counter for 10 minutes (do not turn the oven off). The cake will sink slightly.
In a small bowl, combine sour cream, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Pour into center of cooled cake and spread out to edges. Bake for 5 minutes more. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before decorating or serving.
Top with sliced strawberries when completely chilled.
Tips: Zest lemons and limes before juicing and freeze the zest for another recipe. This cheesecake freezes well for up to 4 months before decorating. Defrost in the refrigerator the day before use and then decorate.
Variation: If fresh berries are not available, spread 1 cup (250 mL) strawberry preserves on top.
Recipe from THE CHEESECAKE BIBLE by George Geary
(Robert Rose, Inc.; October 2008; $24.95/trade paperback)