I have a friend who claims that all good things originally came from the Greeks. He also says something similar about New York City being the center of the known universe. (ok, that part about NYC may be a bit of an embellishment, but he’s Greek and lives in NYC, so what do you expect)
In any case, when it comes to cheesecake, there is no argument about its origins. Thank the Greeks. It seems cheesecakes were first served to athletes during the first Olympic games held on the Isle of Delos in 776 BCE. Of course! When we think of the Olympics, we think of cheesecake…ok, maybe we should, but the truth is, we don’t.
Instead when we think of cheesecake, we think of New York City. Brooklyn in particular, as it’s home to Junior’s – crafters of what is now known as, “The World’s Most Fabulous Cheesecake”. So, when we break out the springform pan, it’s with fond memories of frequent trips to the diner on the corner of Flatbush and DeKalb for what will likely remain some of the best cheesecake. EVER.
But, alas, Junior’s is a scant 2400 or so miles away and those quick trips aren’t so quick anymore. So we’ve been forced to find a suitable replacement that we can reproduce at home. But we didn’t stop there! We offer you a gluten-free version that’s sure to be a hit with any of your gluten-free friends and family who can still tolerate dairy products!
There are lots of different versions of the cheesecake. Ricotta, cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, marscapone, and Neufchatel are common ingredients. Fruit toppings are also common – but our absolute favorite has to be Caramel Apple Cheesecake. We haven’t quite perfected the recipe for that one yet, but bear with us, we’ll keep working on it!
For now, we offer a simple strawberry reduction to top your cheesecake with. So, dust off your springform pan, get ready to find a local marscapone supplier and let’s bake a (cheese)cake!
- 8 oz. (1 box) “Kinnikinnick S’moreables Graham Style Crackers”
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ stick unsalted butter
- 1 pinch “Bolivian Rose” sea salt
- 24 oz. cream cheese
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups sour cream
- 8 oz. marscapone
- 1-1/4 c. sugar
- zest of one lemon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (for baking crust and cake).
- Crumble graham crackers in food processor until finely crumbled. Pour in melted butter, add pinch of salt and process until fully incorporated. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Pour the crumbs into the pan and, using the smooth bottom of a glass, your fingers and a fork, press the crumbs down into the base and 1-2 inches up the sides.
- Refrigerate for 5 minutes.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add sour cream, lemon zest, marscapone and vanilla. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. The batter should be well-mixed but not overbeaten. Pour the filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
- Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it.
- Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan.
- Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan; the foil will keep the water from seeping into the cheesecake.
- Bake for 45 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle (it will firm up after chilling), so be careful not to overcook.
- Let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours.
- Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim.
- Unmold and transfer to a cake plate.
- Using a spatula spread a layer of strawberry reduction topping over the surface.
- Slice the cheesecake with a thin, non-serrated knife that has been dipped in hot water. Wipe dry after each cut.