The key about omitting something from your life is to not prevent others from having to also. Although I probably wouldn’t even eat this if I could eat dairy, since I was never a big fan of cheesecake to begin with, it’s fun to make things for people that they can enjoy!
So, this is technically cheating because I don’t eat dairy so I have NO idea how this tasted, but everyone said it was delicious and with only 4 people eating it, it lasted 2 days so I think it’s safe to say it was a winner.
What I love about this recipe is that my mom taught me how to make it. She is SUCH a great cook and baker and I never took advantage of learning from her when I was younger, so I try to learn what I can when I am able to spend quality time with her. Since she’s a sweet fanatic (and that’s an understatement), this was right up her alley and she loved it, not only because it’s something sweet, but because it was sweet that we were able to make it together. I’m pretty certain she ate 3/4 of it, so this recipe is definitely one to keep 🙂
For the Crust
12 graham crackers
6 tablespoons butter, melted; plus more, room temperature, for pan
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of coarse salt
For the Cake
3 1/2 pounds (seven 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 can strawberry pie filling
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Wrap exterior of pan (including base) in a double layer of foil EXTREMELY tightly. This will prevent water from seeping inside the pan
- To make the crust, process graham crackers in food processor until fine (you can also just use a box of graham cracker crumbs to make it easier).
- Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Transfer mixture to the pan and pat tightly into an even layer along the bottom and halfway up the sides using the bottom of a measuring cup or meat pounder. Freeze the dough in the pan, about 15 minutes.
- Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake until the crust is firm to the touch and deeply golden brown, about 15 minutes. When finished, transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the cake, bring a large kettle of water to a boil
- While water boils, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.
- In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and flour. With mixer on low speed, gradually add sugar mixture to cream cheese; mix until smooth.
- Add sour cream and vanilla; mix until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined; do not over mix.
- Pour cream cheese filling into the prepared pan.
- Set pan inside a large, shallow roasting pan.
- Carefully ladle boiling water into roasting pan to reach halfway up sides of a spring form pan.
- Bake 45 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
- Continue baking until cake is set but still slightly moving in the center, about 30 minutes more.
- Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cake cool completely. Refrigerate, uncovered, at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Before removing sides of spring-form pan, run a knife around the edge of the cake.
- When ready to serve, top with pie filling and eat away!