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!
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!
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 lasagna 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.
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.
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!