Rich, smooth, creamy, and absolutely sublime! Everyone needs a basic cheesecake recipe and this one is sure to please.
Keyword: baked, cheesecake, creamy, smooth
1 1/2cupsgraham cracker crumbs
24ozcream cheese, softened to room temperature(3 - 8oz packages)
1 cupgranulated sugar
3largeeggs, room temperature
1teaspoonpure vanilla extract
1cupheavy cream, room temperature
Fresh Strawberry Sauce
1 1/2cupsfresh strawberries, cleaned and sliced
1/4 cupgranulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Wrap the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with two layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Set aside a large roasting pan that the springform pan fits in without touching the sides. This will be used for a water bath during cooking.Spray the springform pan with non-stick baking spray or line with parchment paper.
In a medium-size bowl mix 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, 1/3 cup melted butter and 1 tablespoon of sugar until moistened and starts to come together. Then press into the bottom of the springform pan and up the sides about 1/3 of the way. Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the cheesecake batter.
With an electric mixer on medium-low, beat the cream cheese for 3 minutes. Add the sugar, continue beating increasing the speed to medium-high until light and fluffy. This will take about 5 minutes. It should be smooth and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, continue beating until combined. Add the heavy cream until incorporated. Being sure to scrape down the bowl and the paddle several times during the whole process. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl as well. Add the vanilla and incorporate.
Pour the batter into the springform pan and place in the roasting pan. Place both pans into the oven on the middle rack. Carefully fill the roasting pan with hot water about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Being sure not to splash water into the cheesecake batter.
Bake the cheesecake 45 minutes to 1 hour (all ovens are different). It should jiggle slightly but no wet spots, it will continue to cook some while cooling. Carefully remove the springform pan from the water bath and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Once cool, refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
Fresh Strawberry Sauce
Process the strawberries, sugar, and lime zest in a food processor or blender until smooth. ( I use my stick blender and it works great! No large appliances to wash.)
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. This sauce is best served cold.
NOTE: It is very important that the cream cheese, eggs, and cream be at room temperature.