I must say...Donna (My Tasty Treasures) has one of my favorite blogs! Not only are her recipes fabulous, but she is very much her own person and provides my daily entertainment! She's so "real" and while she may rub some people the wrong way, I very much respect her individuality :) I've never been disappointed by a recipe that Donna has posted, so I knew this cheesecake had to be wonderful. Besides, everyone seems to be raving about Tyler Florence! Normally I'm not a huge fan of lemon, but the lemon in the filling mixture was a great addition! I searched high and low for my springform pan that I was sure I had purchased, but was unable to find it. I ended up making the cheesecake in a round cake pan, so my picture is not near as pretty as Donna's! I also am wondering if I didn't need to bake the cheesecake just a tad bit longer, because it didn't seem to firm up as much as it should have. This is definitely a recipe I will make again and I look forward to trying different toppings! I used fresh strawberries (mixed with sugar), but I bet it would be great with cherries, too! (Again, please excuse the picture, as it was taken pretty late at night and the lighting in my house is just awful!)
Crust: 2 cups finely ground graham crackers, about 30 squares ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 stick butter, melted
Filling: 1 pound cream cheese, softened, (2) 8oz blocks 3 eggs 1 cup sugar 1 pint sour cream 1 lemon, zested (I only "zested" half of the lemon) Dash of vanilla
For the crust: Preheat oven to 325. In a mixing bowl, combine crust ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 8 inch springform pan with non stick cooking spray. Pour the crumbs into the pan and, using the bottom of a measuring cup, press the crumbs down into the base , and 1 inch up the sides. Refrigerate for 5 -10 minutes.
For the filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add sour cream lemon zest, and vanilla. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and beaters. The batter should be well-mixed but not over beaten. Pour the filling into the crust lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Set the cheesecake on a large piece of aluminum foil, and fold up the sides around it. Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan and pour boiling water into the pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. This foil will keep water from seeping into the cheesecake. Bake for 45–50 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle. It will firm up after chilling. Be careful not to overcook. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the fridge for 4 hours at least. Loosen the sides of the cheesecake by running a knife around the inside rim. Unmold and transfer to plate. Spread on your choice of topping or eat plain.
If you were to look up the word "picky" in the dictionary, you would see a picture of my husband off to the left. Growing up, I was exposed to all sorts of different foods and encouraged to experiment with different flavors, but after meeting my husband, I somewhat locked myself into an eight to ten meal rotation and was reluctant to deviate. I have since given birth to two of the least picky eaters on the face of the Earth, thus inspiring me to transform my cooking style. I know many people, like myself, lead such hectic lives, so I strive to find recipes that are quick and easy--especially those that you can whip up with ingredients that you ordinarily have on hand!
A bit about me...I married my husband, Marcus, on June 1, 2003 and we welcomed our son Jacob on March 22, 2005. Our daughter, Madeline, was born on March 1, 2008. I stay home with the kids for the most part, but also work occasional shifts as a registered nurse at a local hospital. I truly hope you enjoy my blog. A special "thank you" to my sister, Sarah, for giving me the idea! Her creativity is hard to live up to, but I'm a very determined person and hope to make her proud :)