A love letter to the amazing cooking of my grandmothers

Classic New York Cheesecake with Strawberry Balsamic Sauce

Classic New York Cheesecake with Strawberry Balsamic Sauce

Classic New York Cheesecake with Strawberry Balsamic Sauce

Marc and I had Easter dinner at my dad and step-mom’s house yesterday and as usual it was a blast with them, my little brother and my step-mom’s brother and sister. There was a huge, incredible Polish feast to eat of ham, kielbasa, pierogi, potato salad, cole slaw and more. The conversation and jokes were going around at a rapid pace between the seven of us. There also may or may not have been a few minutes of my little brother and I basically communicating in nothing but movie quotes. That tends to happen a lot. I was put in charge of dessert for the feast and the request was for a classic New York cheesecake to round out the meal. My version of Classic New York Cheesecake has a super buttery graham cracker crust, and the most luscious vanilla filling. My incredible strawberry balsamic sauce topped it off perfectly!

The bottom crust all formed and ready to bake for the classic New York cheesecake.

The bottom crust all formed and ready to bake for the classic New York cheesecake. All I did was stir the ingredients together thoroughly. Then the mixture was pressed firmly into my well greased springform pan and baked!

While the crust baked and cooled, I prepared the filling. Everything was just brought together in my stand mixer! The secret to my filling is using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. It’s less assertive than sour cream while still giving it the needed tang. I also like the texture it gives the classic New York cheesecake!

The velvety classic New York cheesecake filling.

The velvety classic New York cheesecake filling. Oh my goodness it was so luscious.

That lovely batter got poured into my well greased spring form pan on top of the crust. Then I placed the pan on my sheet tray with a big lip. An extra large roasting pan would have worked even better but mine was loaned out! That set up went in my oven and I carefully poured water into the sheet tray to surround the springform pan. To me, it’s the safest way to do it. If the water is poured in before going into the oven there is more of a risk of it sloshing all over the place, including into the cheesecake! That would have been a disaster.

The bain marie set up for the classic New York cheesecake, with some of the water already added around the pan.

The set up for the classic New York cheesecake. I added just a little water to illustrate it. Once it was in the oven I filled the sheet tray to the top! The steam from the water was so important because it kept the cake from cracking.

While the cake baked for an hour and a half, I quickly made the easy sauce. It was basically a simple syrup with strawberries added! I gently boiled strawberries, water and sugar together until it became a thick, glorious mixture. Then I added my beloved strawberry balsamic vinegar and let it bubble for another couple of minutes.

The finished strawberry balsamic sauce.

This sauce could not be a more perfect topping for the classic New York cheesecake! The balsamic takes the flavor to a whole new level. I let it cool and sealed it in a container. This stuff will keep for days!

When the classic New York cheesecake was done, I let it cool for over half an hour in the pan. Then I gently released it (and prayed it wouldn’t crack or stick to the pan). Luckily it didn’t. It went onto a cake plate to cool for another half hour before I covered it. I let it chill and completely set overnight. That’s what was so great about this baby. I could make it all ahead! My family really loved this classic New York cheesecake as the end of our fun Easter dinner, and I hope yours will too!

Classic New York Cheesecake with Strawberry Balsamic Sauce

Classic New York Cheesecake with Strawberry Balsamic Sauce


Classic New York Cheesecake with Strawberry Balsamic Sauce
Classic New York Cheesecake with Strawberry Balsamic Sauce
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 cake 30 minutes
Cook Time
1.5 hours
Servings Prep Time
1 cake 30 minutes
Cook Time
1.5 hours
Classic New York Cheesecake with Strawberry Balsamic Sauce
Classic New York Cheesecake with Strawberry Balsamic Sauce
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 cake 30 minutes
Cook Time
1.5 hours
Servings Prep Time
1 cake 30 minutes
Cook Time
1.5 hours
Ingredients
FOR THE GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING
FOR THE STRAWBERRY BALSAMIC SAUCE
Servings: cake
Instructions
  1. First, prepare the crust. Pre-heat the oven to 375 and liberally grease the bottom of a 9 1/2 inch springform pan with butter or shortening. In a bowl stir the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and brown sugar together thoroughly until it resembles wet sand. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan until it makes a solid bottom layer. Bake the crust to let it set for 10 minutes. Remove it when it is done and set it aside to cool.
  2. Next, prepare the filling. Reduce the oven heat to 350. Combine the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat them together until light and fluffy. Add the Greek yogurt and vanilla next. Once they are mixed in add each egg and egg yolk in one at a time. Finally, add the flour. Let the mixture get creamy and well combined.
  3. Grease the inside sides of the springform pan liberally with butter or shortening. Pour the creamy cheesecake batter on top of the prepared graham cracker crust. Then put the springform pan in an extra large roasting pan. Pour water into the roasting pan to surround the springform pan. Avoid getting water into the cheesecake and make sure the water comes at least halfway up the sides of the pan. This will prevent the cake from cracking.
  4. Bake the cheesecake for an hour and a half, until it is completely set and slightly golden. While it bakes, prepare the easy sauce. Combine the strawberries, water and sugar in a saucepan and heat it over medium high heat. Allow the mixture to gently bubble and thicken for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. It should become almost like a strawberry syrup. Stir the strawberry balsamic in after 15 minutes is up and let it bubble for another 2 minutes. Take the sauce pan off of the heat and set it aside to cool. Once cooled, pour into an airtight container and refrigerate it.
  5. Take the cheesecake out when it is done and let it cool for at least half an hour. Release it gently from the springform pan and carefully transfer it to a cake plate. Let it cool for an additional 30 minutes out of the pan. Cover the cake plate and refrigerate the cheesecake overnight. When ready to serve, spoon the strawberry balsamic sauce over the top and slice! Enjoy!
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1 Comment

  1. D.J. DeFrancesco D.J. DeFrancesco
    April 26, 2014    

    This was the best cheesecake EVER. Flavor was fantastic and the graham cracker crust was amazing. Brought some to work and my co-workers were fighting each other for the last piece.

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