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New York-Style Cheesecake with Cranberry-Cointreau Sauce

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Serves twelve to sixteen.

Yields one 9-inch cheesecake.

Wonderful as they are, cheesecakes can be prone to forming cracks on top. But this recipe has several safeguards against cracking, the most important of which is the festive cranberry topping.

For the graham cracker crust:
  • 5-3/4 oz. finely ground graham cracker crumbs (about 10 cracker rectangles ground to yield 1-1/2 packed cups)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2-1/2 oz. (5 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted; plus 1 teaspoon melted butter for the pan
For the cheesecake:
  • 4 8-oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Cranberry-Cointreau Sauce  
Set out the ingredients:

At least 4 hours before you begin, set the cream cheese, eggs, and sour cream on your kitchen counter because it’s essential that the ingredients be at room temperature before you mix the batter.

Make the crust:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Stir in the 5 Tbs. melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Dump the crumbs into a 9-inch springform pan that’s about 2-1/2 inches deep and press them firmly into the bottom and about halfway up the sides. Bake until the crust is fragrant and warm to the touch, 5 to 7 min.; it’s fine if the crust starts to look golden, but it shouldn’t brown too much. Let the pan cool on a rack while you prepare the cheesecake batter.

Make the cheesecake batter:

With a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese with the sugar at medium-low speed until the mixture is smooth and somewhat fluffy, about 2 min. Scrape the bowl. On low speed, beat in the flour. One at a time, beat in the eggs on low speed, mixing the batter for only 15 to 20 seconds after each egg is added, just until it’s incorporated, and scraping the bowl each time. Don’t overbeat. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat at low speed until well combined, about 30 seconds. The batter should be smooth and have the consistency of a thick milkshake.

Bake the cake in a water bath:

Wrap the outside of the pan tightly with two sheets of extra-wide (18-inch) heavy-duty aluminum foil to make the pan waterproof. Brush the inside rim of the pan with a light coating of the remaining 1 tsp. melted butter, taking care not to disturb the crust.

New York-Style Cheesecake with Cranberry-Cointreau Sauce Recipe

Pour the batter into the prepared crust; it should cover the crust completely and come to within about 1/2 inch of the pan’s rim. Put the springform pan in a roasting pan and carefully pour hot water into the roasting pan until the water reaches halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake at 350°F, without opening the oven door for the first hour, until the top of the cake is golden brown and doesn’t wobble in the middle when the pan is nudged (a little jiggle is fine), about 1 hour 10 min. to 1 hour 15 min. (The cheesecake will be gooey in the middle; don’t worry, it will set as it cools.)

Let the cake cool:

Remove the cheesecake pan from the water bath, remove the foil wrapping (you may need an extra set of hands for this), and set the pan on a wire rack. Run a thin-bladed knife around the inside rim of the pan to free the cheesecake from the sides of the pan. Let the cake cool on the rack until barely warm.

Refrigerate uncovered for at least 8 hours or overnight. The cheesecake will firm up during chilling.

Serve the cheesecake:

Run a thin-bladed knife around the inside rim of the pan again—taking care not to disturb the crust—to loosen the chilled cheesecake. Unclasp and remove the side of the springform pan, and then use a wide spatula to transfer the cake to a serving plate.

Right before serving, use a slotted spoon to scoop the cranberries out of the syrup and let them drain briefly before spooning them onto the top of the cake. (Save the leftover syrup for pouring onto vanilla ice cream or mixing with seltzer to make cran-berry spritzers.)

Before slicing, rinse a long, thin-bladed knife under hot water. Wipe the blade between slices and rinse it under hot water again as needed.

Wrapped and refrigerated, the topped cheesecake will keep for a week.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on 16 servings; Calories (kcal): 500; Fat (g): fat g 28; Fat Calories (kcal): 250; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 17; Protein (g): protein g 7; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 58; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 250; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 130; Fiber (g): fiber g 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is my 'go to' cheesecake recipe. It's creamy and perfect every time I make it. Rave reviews from everyone who eats it.

This cheesecake is the best! I was on a perfecting a cheesecake rant for awhile and this recipe is as close as it gets to perfect. It's a keeper and wins over even lukewarm cheesecake lovers.

I made just the cheesecake. All of my guests gave this recipe 5 stars. Everyone enjoyed the unique combination of lightness, creaminess, and richness.

Amazing! I received rave reviews on this cheesecake! I had a few guests from New York that said it truly tasted like New York cheesecake. Light and airy but decadent at the same time! The sauce was phenomenal as well. Overall a fantastic dessert!!

I've made this cheesecake several times and not only does it look pretty but it tastes delicious! The only change I make is that I use a ginger snap cookie crust. I've made it several times now and it's always impressive and yummy!

I thought this cheesecake was fantastic! I loved the cranberry sauce as well. The leftover sauce made great cranberry fizzes. My only complaint was that I would have liked a little more crust, so next time I'll add a bit more.

Fabulous Creamy deep cheesecake - perfect flat top, no cracking and the cranberry topping made it look very festive. Big hit at the pre Christmas dinner

This is a wonderfully smooth and silky, yet rich and thick cheesecake. Plain or with the wonderful Cranberry-Cointreau Sauce....it is a winner!!!

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