In this photo, with Darth Vader, is my friend Chad.
He makes a cheesecake that rivals the famous Juniors cheesecake in New York. How do I know this? Well, he made me some cheesecake for me and ...
I just happened to be leaving the next day for New York City.
I stopped by Grand Central Station while I was there.
And visited the Junior's booth. His cheesecake was better. Not way better, mind you. Just slightly better. But better than Junior's is a huge thing.
INGREDIENTS FOR CRUST:
6 full sheets of grahm crackers
1 teaspoon sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 stick butter
INGREDIENTS FOR FILLING:
3-8 oz. blocks of cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar plus 1 cup sugar (total of 1 1/3 cups)
3 tablespoons corn starch
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2/3 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Get together six full sheets of graham crackers. So what you see in this photo x6.
Break them into a food processor with a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon sugar.
Pulse until the graham crackers are crumbs and the salt and sugar are mixed in.
Melt a half a stick of butter
Add it into the food processor and mix it in.
Pour mixture into deep dish pie plate (note: you should really use a spring form pan, but since most of my readers will not have one, I will show you that you don't have to use a spring form pan - just a deep dish pie plate will do. Spring form pan is easier though.)
Press mixture down to the bottom of the pie plate.
Next I am going to make the filling. I use this attachment on my mixer.
Add 1-8 0z. package of cream cheese, 3 tablespoons corn starch and 1/3 cup sugar to the mixing bowl.
Beat on low until well combined. You'll need to scrape down the sides as you do this.
Add 2 more 8 oz. packages of cream cheese and mix well. Again, scrape down the sides.
Add 1 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon vanilla then blend completely..
Add eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly. And once again, scrape down the sides.
It will look like this.
Now add 2/3 cup heavy cream.
Mix only until combined. No more.
Now lick the beater. This is very important.
With a rubber spatula, scrape filling into pie dish on top of the graham cracker crust.
Now lick the rubber spatula. This is another very important step. (This mixture is the best tasting mixture of all-time, in case you didn't know.)
Now open your oven and place a large cookie sheet on the rack.
Next place your cheese cake on the cookie sheet. After that you will put 2 - 3 cups of water in the cookie sheet (not on the cheesecake, but around the pie dish. If you use a spring form pan you will need to cover the bottom of the pan with foil so that the water does not seep in and make a soggy cheesecake.) You're going to bake the cheesecake in a steam bath.
Bake it for about an hour and when you pull it out it will look like this (only I left it in a little too long. It should not be this dark). Notice it's puffy. It will fall down as it cools. After it cools a little, put it in the fridge for 4 hours to set. That's right 4 hours. I know that stinks, but just do it.
I tried to short cut the process and the cake just fell apart like this. So don't try and freeze it for 2 hours instead of refrigerate it for 4 like I did.
You can top it with any type of berry sauce. Once it has set in the fridge for the required 4 hours, you can freeze it a little to make it more firm, thus easier to cut. Then let it sit at room temperature for a bit before serving. Enjoy, and thanks to Chad for this great recipe.