Traditional cheesecake, as we know it today, consists of a thick layer of soft, sweetened cream cheese atop a crust made of a delicious crumb mixture. The cheese layer can be eaten plain, like New York cheesecake, but is most often topped with fruit compote or preserves like strawberry, cherry, apricot or pineapple.
The History of Modern Cheesecake
The original and basic cheesecake recipe was created in ancient Greece, on the Greek island of Samos. It was served to the first Olympians in 776 B.C as a powerful source of energy. This original version had more of a cake-like consistency and is far from what we enjoy as a delicious dessert today.
Cheesecake as it is made today, starts with a rich and delicious cream cheese base. Cream cheese originated in New York in 1872 when there was a quest to make a heavier form of the French Neufchâtel cheese. The Kraft Cheese Company accomplished this feat in 1912 when the now famous Philadelphia Cream Cheese was perfected. Philadelphia Cream Cheese was trademarked in 1928 and has been used in American cheesecake recipes ever since.
A springform pan used for baking a cheesecake makes it easy to release the tart-like dessert from the pan. This also allows for the classic, no-crust presentation of the cheesecake.
Some recipes, including the Apricot Glazed Cheesecake shared below, add an additional topping of a sour cream, sugar and vanilla mixture to a fully cooked cheesecake. The cheesecake is then returned to the oven for a short baking session giving it a rich and creamy top coating.
Classic New York Cheesecake has no topping. Recipes show that this style of the dessert is smoother and richer in flavor due to the addition of heavy cream and extra egg yolks into the mix.
A slice of cheesecake is a rich and decadent dessert, which clearly deserves a celebration. July 30th has been declared the unofficial National Cheesecake Day in the United States.
The Best Cheesecake Recipe
Apricot Glazed Cheesecake
· ?1/2 cup butter
· ?1 cup graham cracker crumbs
· ?1/4 cup sugar
· ?2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese
· ?1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
· ?3 eggs
· ?1/4 cup lemon juice
· ?1 cup sour cream
· ?3 tablespoons sugar
· ?1 teaspoon vanilla
· ?1 cup apricot preserves
· ?Flaked coconut, if desired
In a small saucepan, melt butter.
Stir in graham crackers and 1/4-cup sugar.
Press the sweetened crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy.
Add sweetened condensed milk and eggs, one at a time. Beat until smooth.
Beat in lemon juice.
Turn mixture into pan and bake in 300° oven for 50 to 55 minutes.
Combine sour cream, 3 Tablespoons sugar and vanilla.
Spread onto hot cheesecake and return to oven for 15 minutes.
- When cheesecake is fully cooled, spread with apricot preserves and garnish with flaked coconut, if desired.
While the original recipe calls for an apricot jam topping, any favorite flavor preserve can be substituted. Try strawberry, peach or seedless raspberry for a delicious twist.
This Apricot Glazed Cheesecake is a better-than-any-bakery-made dessert. Give it a try.