This New York Cheesecake is one of the first cheesecakes I attempted to make in my own home kitchen. The first cheesecake I'd ever made was the alien-esque Blue Velvet Cheesecake, way back in 2012 (it seems like so long ago). Its appearance, from a photographic and aesthetic standpoint, leaves something to be desired...but I'd like to qualify that, to this day, I consider the Blue Velvet Cheesecake one of the most delicious cheesecakes I'd made from scratch. Maybe I'll do an updated post of the recipe someday, and actually have red food coloring in stock to give it the right color and a more appetizing appearance that it deserves.
This New York Cheesecake is smooth and creamy and has a subtle sweet tangy flavor. Also, this recipe incorporates pecans into the graham cracker crust. Genius, right? It's a subtle addition, but the pecans add another dimension to the taste experience. Light, creamy, sweet tang, and slightly nutty crust.
In terms of texture, I have to admit it doesn't have the signature dense texture of the classic New York Cheesecake. For this reason, I was initially hesitant about posting this recipe.
However, I still think this is an excellent fluffy vanilla cheesecake worth sharing with you guys. I hope you enjoy it!
Elaine's New York Cheesecake
Smooth, creamy, sweet, and tangy. With graham cracker pecan crust.
From Love & Olive Oil
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours or overnight
Yield: 12 servings
For the Crust:
1 1/2 cups (7 ounces) graham crackers
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup slivered almonds, finely ground
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Cheesecake:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 ¼ cup granulated sugar, divided
Pinch of salt
¼ cup all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, separated
1 cup sour cream
2 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 – 5 drops of almond extract
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. Combine sugar cookie crumbs, sugar, ground almonds, and salt in a bowl. Drizzle melted butter and stir until evenly moistened. Press into the bottom and up the sides (as far as it'll go) of a lightly buttered 10-inch springform pan. Set aside in the refrigerator while preparing the cheesecake ingredients.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
3. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar, and salt and beat until smooth. It is extremely important that the cream cheese is softened to room temperature.
4. Mix in flour and egg yolks.
5. Add sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla, almond extract, and nutmeg. Beat until smooth.
6. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with remaining 1/4 cup sugar until it form stiff peaks. Carefully fold into cream cheese mixture until evenly incorporated, and then pour onto chilled crust.
7. Bake cheesecake for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until top is puffed and lightly golden brown. Without opening the oven door, turn off the oven, and let the cheesecake sit inside the oven for 1 hour. Opening the oven door at any point in the baking process would expose the cheesecake to an abrupt air and temperature change that would cause it to crack and fall.
8. After the 1 hour of sitting inside the oven, transfer the cheesecake (still inside the springform pan) to a wire rack and let cool completely. Then refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight, before slicing. Do not transfer the cheesecake directly from oven to refrigerator; allow it to sufficiently cool to room temperature. Slow and gradual temperature change is extremely important.