I made this for CHRISTmas 2013... it is AWESOME!!! it's a keeper!!
New York Cheesecake with Salted Caramel Sauce
2 cups finely ground graham crackers crumbs (about 30 squares) ( I buy the crumbs)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick)
4- (8) oz blocks cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
top with Salted Caramel Sauce (recipe below)
1. To prepare crust:
In a mixing bowl, combine the crust ingredients together with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring form pan with non-stick cooking spray. Firmly press the mixture over the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of the pan, use your finger or the smooth bottom of a glass. Refrigerate the crust while preparing the filling
2. To prepare filling:
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute just until smooth and free of any lumps. Gradually add the sugar and beat until creamy, 1 to minutes. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to slowly beat until combined. Stir in the vanilla and the lemon zest. Blend in the sour cream. The batter should be well mixed, but not over beaten. (Over beating incorporates to much air and will cause the cake to puff when baking, then fall and crack when cooling.) Pour filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
3. To prepare water bath:
Set the pan on a double piece of aluminum foil and fold up the sides. This will prevent water from seeping into the seams of the spring form pan. Carefully set the cake pan in the large roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan.
4. Preheat oven 325, decrease oven to 300 bake for 1 hour 20 min. The cheesecake should jiggle, it will firm up after chilling. Be careful not to overcook! Do not do a toothpick test in the cakes center, this will make a crack. Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the insides of rim. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours to set up. De-mold and transfer to a cake plate. Slice the cheese cake with a thin non-stick knife that has been dipped in hot water and wiped dry after each cut. Or with a piece of dental floss
Salted Caramel Sauce
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, without stirring. If necessary, use a wet pastry brush to wash down any crystals on the side of the pan. Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Remove the sugar from the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble. Stir in the butter, and salt and simmer at a low boil an additional 5-7 minutes until thickened to the consistency to of your liking. Transfer the caramel sauce to a dish or canning jar to cool.*Cook's Note: The salted caramel sauce will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Reheat before serving