July 30th is officially National Cheesecake Day, so in honor of today we’re sharing a tired and tested recipe for classic Cheesecake! Sometimes it’s the simpler things in life that we enjoy the most and believe us, this cheesecake is hard not to enjoy. It’s a classic dessert that is perfect after just about any meal and is the perfect compliment for a cup of coffee. Happy baking!

Photo courtesy of Life as a Lofthouse.

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 2 cups finely crushed graham crackers (about 30 squares)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

  • 2 (8 ounce) blocks of cream cheese, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest

Strawberry Topping:

  • 1 (10 ounce) bag of frozen sliced strawberries, thawed or 1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced.
  • 3-4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. In a mixing bowl, combine crust ingredients together with a fork until evenly moistened. Spray a 9-inch pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Pour crumbs into the pan, and using the bottom of a measuring cup or smooth bottom of a glass cup, press crumbs into the bottom and 1-inch up along sides. Refrigerate crust while you prepare the filling.
  3. For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese on low speed for one minute, or until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat slowly just until combined. Do not over mix! Gradually, add in sugar and beat until creamy (about 1 minute).
  4. Add sour cream, vanilla and lemon zest. Periodically, scrape down sides of bowl and beaters. The batter should be well-mixed, but not over-beaten. Pour the filling into the crust-filled pan and smooth top with a spatula.
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes. (Be careful not to over bake!) The center will still be slightly jiggly. (It will firm up while it chills) Let cool for 30 minutes, and then loosely cover with saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
  6. Serve with Strawberry Topping, if desired: Pour sliced strawberries and vanilla in a medium bowl. Sprinkle sugar over the top. Mix together and slightly smash the strawberries with a fork. Cover and store in refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours.

Original Recipe courtesy of Life as a Lofthouse.

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Written by Old Time Pottery
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