Ivory? Indeed. Plain? Never. Classy? Always. Sexy? You bet! Pearls and a classic New York-style cheescake have much in common.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Ingredients for Cheesecake Crust
- 12 long (4 sections on each) graham crackers
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
Crush graham crackers in food processor. Add sugar, salt, and melted butter. Process until similar to wet sand texture.
Spray a 10-inch springform pan with baking spray (or coat with butter) and press graham cracker mixture into bottom of pan. Bake in oven for about 15 minutes then remove and set aside.
Reduce oven to 325°F.
Ingredients for Cheesecake Filling
- 2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
Cream together cream cheese and sugar. Add remaining ingredients and mix until well-combined batter.
Pour cheesecake batter on top of the graham cracker crust in the springform pan. Place springform pan in about a little bit larger pan (about 11-inch pan). Most recipes say to use foil to protect your cheesecake from the water bath but I have never, ever had luck with foil. Place about 1 inch of water in a large pan (roasting pan or half sheet pan works well for this) which the doubled pans can fit into.
Yeah, like that. I shall not be foiled again.
Bake until knife poked into cheesecake comes out nearly clean – about an hour. Top of cheesecake will be light golden brown. Allow cheesecake to sit in pan until cool. (It will continue baking for awhile while cooling).
Place cheesecake in refrigerator overnight or several hours until chilled for best results. Run a knife around cheesecake edges to loosen from pan. Remove sides from pan carefully. Run knife under cheesecake to make sure crust also removes from pan easily then place on serving plate. Top with fresh berries, canned cherry pie filling, or sour cream topping (recipe below).
Sour Cream Topping Ingredients
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Stir all ingredients together then spread over chilled cheesecake.
But, pearls will last, and cheesecake shall not.