Saturday, August 18, 2012

It's Something in the Water...

Continuing my East Coast theme, besides the White Pie, I also fell in-love with Philly Cheesesteaks! I have tried recipe after recipe trying to duplicate those delicious, beefy, cheesey, oniony sandwiches, but to no avail. None of them taste authentic. Perhaps it's the bread they use, made with Philadelphia water, just like New York bagels, which are impossible to duplicate without New York City water. If anyone has a great recipe for a Philly Cheesesteak, please send it my way! So, while I can't show you a great recipe for a Philly Cheesesteak or New York bagels, I can give you an excellent recipe for "New York Cheesecake!"

This recipe for a New York Cheesecake requires not one, not two, not even three, but four, 8-ounce packages of Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese, making quite a rich and dense cheesecake, balanced perfectly between the graham cracker crust and the cherry topping! Yum! This recipe is also fantastic for parties, as it easily serves 12!!! To help prevent the cheesecake from cracking while it bakes, place a 9"x13" pan of water on the lower rack of the oven, then run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake after you pull it out of the oven! If these tips still result in a cracked cheesecake, no worries, the cherry topping will cover any imperfections! You'll love it!

New York Cheesecake

Serves 12

For the crust
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted

For the filling
4, 8-ounce packages Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream

For the topping
1, 21-ounce can cherry pie filling, or 3 cups whole strawberries, stems removed

For the crust
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix the crumbs, sugar, and butter together, and press into the bottom of a 9" springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside.

For the filling
Beat the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing at low speed after each addition, just until blended. Blend in the sour cream and pour over the crust.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the center is almost set. Remove from the oven, run a knife around the rim of the pan to loosen the cheesecake. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

For the topping
Remove the rim of the pan. Carefully top with the cherries, using a spoon to remove them from the can, leaving excess syrup behind, or top with the strawberries, stem-side down, and serve!

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