This is the ultimate cheesecake recipe! Full of flavor and it doesn’t crack no matter how hard you try! It is a traditional NY cheesecake recipe that has been adapted to my Greek standards. It is definitely the best cheesecake recipe, I have tasted! Dense but airy at the same time and no matter what topping you choose, you can never go wrong!
Of course you will ask what a cheesecake what does that have to do with Greek cuisine? The answer lies to history and the fact that the cheesecake was invented by the ancient Greeks! It was of course in a slightly different form and it had a rather savory taste than sweet but the cheesecake has definitely a Greek heritage.
It seems like a lot of people are “afraid” of it, because it has the tendency to crack on top when it cooks, but this ultimate cheesecake recipe is definitely a winner! I will tell you a secret though, even if you ever make a different recipe and your cheesecake cracks, just put some topping on it like berries or caramel and nobody will ever care! But when you make this recipe, and you present it on the table with different toppings for everyone to add, I guarantee you that everyone will be amazed!
Yes, I know that everyone and their mother in law claims to have a good cheesecake recipe, but I can tell you for a fact that this is the Ultimate Cheesecake Recipe!
I made it last night, again, and as I was cutting the first piece this morning, since it needs plenty of time to cool down, I decided that today it was not going to be a “diet day”. So what if I have cheesecake for breakfast? I don’t think that anyone would have an objection to that… right?
I bake it in a pan with a removable base or else a “cheesecake”pan. Then place it in a water bath and it goes straight in the oven. The key to a cheesecake that doesn’t crack is the consistent oven temperature. It does help also, once every few months to check your oven’s temperature, with an oven thermometerto make sure that your temperature is what is supposed to be. Be amazed sometimes, how unbalanced the oven thermometer can be in regards to the actual oven temperature. And that is the key to most foods! So it does help, to buy an oven thermometerand just check every 3 months or so…
In addition, I have to admit that this ultimate cheesecake recipe is not one of those that you should try if you are on a diet because I can guarantee you that you will fall of the wagon! It is irresistible !
This recipe is also written in the measure meant of cups instead of grams, as I often find it easier for everyone to follow. Just remember that if you don’t have baking measuring cups at home, which I recommend that you should invest in some, then just use a regular coffee cup that hold 8oz or 240ml of water. That should be equal to a cup. or very very close to it.
Consequently, if you don’t have a springform pan aka cheesecake pan, you can use any round pan that is 9 inches in diameter ( 22.8 cm). you may line your regular pan with aluminum foil so you can remove the cheesecake easier and then just follow the recipe.For the springform pan that I use you may click on the red letters.
First of all you have to make sure that you have all your ingredients available and in room temperature. That is the first step to even baking. I always remove all the refrigerated ingredients out of the refrigerator about 3 hours before I start making it. There is a big difference in texture if you do that.Your cheesecake will be smooth and creamy instead of stiff and lumpy.
So here it is:
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker ( about 10) crumps
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 2 1/2 lbs or 1,2kg cream cheese room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 5 whole extra large eggs room temperature
- 2 extra large egg yolks room temperature
- 1/4 cup greek yogurt strained and as close to room temperature as you can
- 1 tbsp lemon zest grated
- 1 1/2 tsp or 2 capsules pure vanilla extract or powder
Preheat the oven at 350 degrees F or 175 degrees celcious.
To make the crust, combine the graham crackers, the sugar, and melted butter until they are moistened and looks like wet sand. Pour the mixture in a 9 inch (22cm) springform pan and press the crumbs with a mug or water cup into the bottom of the pan and about an inch or so up to the sides (2-3 cm or fingers high)
Bake it for 8 minutes, remove from oven and let it cool to room temperature, about an hour.
Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit or 230 degrees celcious.
To make the filling, cream the cream cheese and the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with the paddle attachment on medium to medium high speed (3-4) until well combined light and fluffy. That should take about 6 minutes.
reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs one at a time and then the egg yolks till they are all well incorporated. Make sure you scrape the bottom and the sides every minute or so the mixture is even.
Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and add the lemon zest, the greek yogurt and the vanilla. Make sure that the mix is very well incorporated and pour it in the cooled crust.
Cover your springform pan with aluminum foil on the bottom and the sides and place in a bigger pan with hot, almost boiling water.
Bake the cheesecake at 450 Fahrenheit (230 celcious) for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 225 degrees Fahrenheit ( 110 degrees celcious), and bake for another 1hour and 15 minutes. Then turn off the oven and open the door. Don't remove the cake from the oven. this is a big secret! The cheesecake will be jiggly in the middle and it will look almost not completely cooked. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for another 30 minutes.
Finally,take the cheesecake out of the oven, let cool completely in room temperature for 3 hours and then wrap with membrane and refrigerate it over night.
The next day, remove the cheesecake from the springform pan, by carefully running a knife around and in between the pan and the cheesecake.Leave the cheesecake in the bottom of the pan and just remove the sides.
F furthermore, for the topping, you may heat some berry jelly in very low heat till it becomes slightly runnier and mix with some fresh strawberries and arrange on top.For the chocolate lovers, a chocolate ganache on top makes for a heavenly flavor.
This recipe usually takes 2 days along with all the wait time so make sure you allow plenty of time.
- You may reduce the sugar in the crust to 1 cup if you find it too sweet or you may replace the Graham crackers with 1 sleeve of Oreos if you plan on making it with a chocolate topping.If you choose this version, take the lemon zest out.
- Have you heard of theEasy Bath cheesecake wrap? or cheesecake moat? It is supposed to make water bathing for cheesecakes easier but I have not tried it yet.
- Instead of the Greek yogurt, you may use sour cream.
- Make sure that your eggs and egg yolks are the extra large size.
So that was it! While this cheesecake take a little more skill that a traditional cake, but I can reassure you that it worth the effort!
I am waiting to see your comments and pictures of your Ultimate Cheesecake.
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