The perfect way to end your homemade Valentine’s Day dinner is, of course, a homemade dessert! We wanted to again stray from the traditional and bring you a cake that is easy to make, but also takes time and love! This New York Cheesecake with Graham Cracker/Pretzel Crust and Salted Caramel Sour Cream Top is sure to wow and satisfy!
Adjust a center rack and preheat the oven to 325℉. Line the bottom of an 8” round spring form pan with parchment paper.
FOR THE CRUST Pulse enough pretzels in a food processor to get 1 cup of course pretzel crumbs and remove the pretzel crumbs. Pulse enough graham crackers in the food processor to get another cup of crumbs. Put the pretzel crumbs back into the food processor along with 12 tbsp. cold butter (chopped in tbsp. sized pieces) and ½ cup granulated sugar. We used vanilla sugar from our leftover crème brûleé recipe! Put on high until combined, about 30 seconds. Pour crust into the pan and push flat (use the bottom of a measuring cup to get the edges!). Slightly toast the crust in the oven for 10 minutes.
FOR THE FILLING While your crust is toasting, make your filling. In the food processor cream 1½ lbs. (3, 8 oz. packages) of room temperature cream cheese on high until smooth. Add ¾ cups granulated sugar and mix until combined. Slowly add your 5 eggs, one at a time, and 1 tsp. vanilla (or ½ tsp. vanilla if using vanilla sugar) until combined. With the food processor on low, slowly pour in 1½ cups of heavy cream. This will completely fill your food processor so just be careful the lid is on tight!
Scrape the edges of the processor to make sure there are no lumps and mix for 30 seconds more. If your filling still has lumps, strain through a wire mesh strainer. Pour the filling into the warm pan with the toasted crust. Bake for 1 hour, then turn the oven off and cool in the oven to room temperature with the oven door cracked slightly. This prevents the cheesecake from splitting. Once at room temp store in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
FOR THE TOPPING To make the caramel sauce, heat 1 cup granulated sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until it turns just golden in color. Stir until all the sugar is melted and turns amber in color. Turn the heat to low and add stir in 4 oz. unsalted butter until melted. Add ¾ cup heavy cream 1 tsp. vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt and mix until it all comes together, about 8 minutes. Don’t stop stirring! Pour the caramel sauce into a glass jar and let come to room temperature before refrigerating. It can be kept up to two weeks! When the cheesecake is ready to serve, mix ¾ cup sour cream and the salted caramel together and spread on top!
FOR THE GARNISH If you would like to garnish your cheesecake, line the top edge with pretzels! If you feel like you’re missing some color, feel free to serve with a raspberry sauce! Simply combine ½ cup sugar and 6 oz. raspberries in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has melted and the raspberries are a liquid like consistency. Mix often. Strain the raspberry mixture through a mesh strainer into a small cup or pitcher. Serve warm for a more liquid texture, or refrigerate until cool for a thicker texture!
Recipe & Image Source: The Kitchy Kitchen