Elaine’s New York Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce
YIELD: generous 12 servings COOK TIME: 45 minutes TOTAL TIME: 6 hours
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 7 ounces)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup slivered almonds, finely ground
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 (8-ounce) packages plain cream cheese, room temperature (it is VERY important that the cheese be at room temperature; take the packages out of the fridge at least 1 to 2 hours or more before you start preparing the cake).
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
5 large eggs, separated
1 cup sour cream
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries, thawed
1/4 cup cornstarch
Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, ground almonds, and salt in a bowl. Drizzle melted butter and stir until evenly moistened. Press into the bottom and up the sides (as far as it’ll go) of a lightly buttered 10-inch springform pan. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to set.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar, and salt and beat until smooth. Add flour and egg yolks and mix thoroughly. Stir in sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla, almond extract, and nutmeg and beat until smooth.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with remaining 1/4 cup sugar until it form stiff peaks. Fold thoroughly into cream cheese mixture (no need to be terribly gentle with it, but you do want the whites to be evenly incorporated). Pour into chilled crust.
Bake cheesecake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until top is puffed and lightly golden brown. There will be cracks, but that’s ok (that’s what the sauce is for, right?) Without opening the oven door, turn the oven off, and let the cheesecake sit in the oven as it cools for 1 hour. Do not take the cheesecake immediately out of the hot oven or it will fall. After 1 hour, transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 1 to 2 hours or overnight before slicing.
To prepare strawberry sauce, drain thawed strawberries, reserving any liquid. Add enough water so the liquid equals 1/2 cup. Place in blender along with berries and purée until smooth. Transfer mixture to a saucepan set over medium-high heat. Whisk in cornstarch and salt and cook until mixture thickens and just starts to bubble. Remove from heat and let cool before spooning over chilled cheesecake.
recipe courtesy loveandoliveoil.com