Cheesecake was originally a simple combination of flour, honey, and cheese until New York added eggs and cream cheese and created the creamy dessert we know today. Once at the top of the list of Julia’s fear foods, our version helped her reclaim her love for this popular sweet treat.
STEP ONE – Preparations
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Make a water bath: add ½ an inch of water to a rimmed dish or pan that an 8-inch glass pie pan can fit in. Place in the oven to warm up.
- Take out 2 bars of cream cheese to soften.
- Get out a small glass measuring cup, a food processor, and an 8-inch glass pie dish.
- Get out a stand mixer, a small bowl, and a small saucepan.
- Set up a cooling rack.
STEP TWO – Make the Crust
¾ cup (14 squares) plain graham crackers
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter
- In the small glass measuring cup, microwave the butter for 30 seconds.
- In the food processor, pulse the graham crackers to crumbs.
- Add the melted butter and mix to incorporate.
- Use your fingertips to press the mixture into the pie dish, evenly distributing across the bottom and ⅔rds up the side.
- Chill the crust in the freezer while you make the filling.
STEP THREE – Make the Filling
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese bars
¾ cup white sugar
¼ cup light sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs plus 1 egg white
- In the stand mixer, cream the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, and vanilla until smooth and silky.
- In the small bowl, combine the eggs and egg white and whisk well.
- Add the eggs to the mixer and mix until just incorporated.
STEP FOUR – Bake the Cheesecake
- Pour the filling into the crust.
- Place in the water bath and bake for 12 minutes.
- Lower the oven to 350°F and bake for another 30-40 minutes until lightly browned.
- Cool the cheesecake on the cooling rack.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
STEP FIVE – Make the Strawberry Topping
2 ½ cups whole fresh strawberries
⅓ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
- Wash the strawberries and cut into slices.
- In the small saucepan, combine the strawberries, sugar, and vanilla and cook for 10-15 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Puree in the food processor and drizzle over the cheesecake.
Recommended Serving Size: 1 slice (⅛ of recipe)
Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 fruit, 2 fat