There are a lot of cheesecake recipes out there, and many variations on the theme. Add pumpkin at Thanksgiving, cranberries at Christmas, or any variety of toppings. This New York Style Cheesecake can be made the traditional way, without the chocolate. But a bit of chocolate swirled into the recipe before baking can satisfy most chocoholics. Serves 12 or so.
1 1/2 c. almonds or pecans
8 stone-ground wheat thins (or other)
1 TBS. sugar
2 1/2 TBS. butter, melted
3/4 c. cream
2 tsp. vanilla
3 TBS. lemon juice
1 lb. 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
3/4c. sour cream
1 c. + 1 TBS. sugar
4 room-temperature eggs
For Chocolate Version: 1 1/2 c. chocolate chips
For Chocolate Version: scant 1/2 c. cream
For Topping: 16 oz. bag frozen strawberries
For Topping: 2 TBS. sugar
1. To make crust, chop fine in a food processor (or hand-chop): > 1 1/2 c. almonds or pecans
2. Crush in a plastic bag to make crumbs (a rolling pin works well): > 8 stone-ground wheat thins
3. Add to the processor, mixing: > The chopped nuts > The crushed cracker crumbs > 1 TBS. sugar > 2 1/2 TBS. butter, melted
4. Butter 9-inch cheesecake pan, pressing above mix in pan and up sides. Bake 6 minutes at 350 degrees, then cool.
5. Make filling, blending in a mixer: > 3/4 c. cream > 2 tsp. vanilla > 3 TBS. lemon juice > 1 lb. 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
6. Add, stirring just till mixed: > 3/4 c. sour cream
7. On low-speed, slowly add: > 1 c. + 1 TBS. sugar
8. Last, blend in one at a time: > 4 room-temperature eggs
9. Pour in cooled pie crust.
10. Continue with instructions below, for Chocolate Cheesecake, or bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes at 325 degrees. Leave in turned-off oven 30 minutes with the door ajar. Remove, cool to room-temperature. Remove from pan and refrigerate.
(For Chocolate New York Style Cheesecake)
1. Microwave 1-2 minutes until melted: > 1 1/2 c. chocolate > scant 1/2 c. cream
2. Gently spoon the chocolate in a spiral-design, on top of the cheesecake batter. To get the swirl-effect, take a knife, pulling in gently across the top of the cake, starting at the center and going towards the edges.
3. Follow instructions above for baking the cheesecake.
To serve with strawberry sauce, puree in blender and serve with the cheesecake: > 1 lb. bag frozen strawberries, thawed > 2 TBS. sugar