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Chef Gina Makes Classic Cheesecake

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With the new year just a few days away, there is nothing more celebratory (and let’s be honest we all want to celebrate the end of 2020), than a creamy, dreamy cheesecake. With possible resolutions right around the corner (think diets), this is one last decadent send-off; a chance to indulge and feel a little fancy.  

I had always been a bit afraid of making a cheesecake, I thought they could be finicky and with the added pressure of it being a favorite dessert of so many, I stayed away. But if 2020 has given me anything, it is extra time in the kitchen (this recipe takes a bit of time as the cooling time is factored in) and a  “You Only Live Once” attitude, so make AND EAT anything you want. So a few months ago I rolled up my sleeves and attempted my first cheesecake. After some positive feedback, I’m all in!

Holiday Cheesecake

Active Time: 30 min

Makes: 8 servings

Crust

  • 1 ½ CUPS GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBS
  • 5 TBS UNSALTED BUTTER, MELTED
  • ¼ CUP GRANULATED SUGAR

Cheesecake

  • 4, 8OZ BLOCKS OF CREAM CHEESE, SOFTENED
  • 1 CUP GRANULATED SUGAR
  • 1 CUP FULL-FAT SOUR CREAM
  • 1 TSP. VANILLA EXTRACT
  • 2 TSP. LEMON JUICE
  • 3 EGGS

Directions

Pro Tips

  • If you can’t find graham cracker crumbs, simply pulse whole graham crackers in a food processor. I use already crumbled to save time. 
  • The small investment of a springform pan for this is worth it. I’ve used mine to make quiche now too.

There are several topping options if you’d like (fresh raspberries, strawberry jam, caramel drizzle, etc.). This time I used candied cranberries from Chef Sean’s recent recipe.

About Chef Gina Veneziano

Chef Gina has spent a lifetime in food – from the butcher shop to food trucks, and catering kitchens to innovation kitchens. She prides herself in being the only person to successfully recreate her grandmother’s famous meatballs. You can usually catch her, apron on, and a glass of prosecco in hand – cheers!

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