Eli’s Chicago Style Cheesecake
The name Eli’s and cheesecake are synonymous in Chicago. This company put cheesecake on the map. This recipe is smooth, creamy and not for the squeamish. Enjoy.
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter – melted
2 pounds cream cheese – room temperature
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
scant pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon Boyajian lemon oil (optional)
1 teaspoon lemon zest – finely minced
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup heavy cream or sour cream
Sour cream topping
2 cups sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons sugar
1 can 19 oz sour cherries
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
For crust, mix ingredients together and press into the bottom of a 10 inch springform pan.
Preheat oven to 450 F.
For filling, cream the cheese with the sugar. Add flour, salt, vanilla, lemon zest, lemon oil, eggs, egg yolks, cream or sour cream. Blend on low speed until smooth, scraping sides and bottom often to ensure mixture is homogenous.
Spoon into prepared pan. Place baking pan in a roasting pan, which has an inch or two of water on bottom. This is optional, but it makes for a very creamy cake. Make sure your spring-form exterior is nicely covered with aluminium foil if you choose to use the water bath.
Bake 15 minutes at 450 F. Reduce heat and bake at 300 F. for another 35-40 minutes. Cake should not jiggle too much at this point and it should barely be browned.
Stir sour cream topping ingredients together.
Increase heat to 350 F. Spoon sour cream topping over cake. Bake another 8 minutes. Turn off oven. Let cake sit in oven for about 30 minutes. Remove to refrigerator covered lightly with foil. Chill overnight or several hours.
For cherry topping, reserve 1/2 cup of liquid from fruit, make a slurry with a couple of tablespoons of liquid and corn starch, drain the rest. Heat 1/2 of liquid, almond extract and lemon juice in a saucepan until it begins to bubble. Stir in corn starch slurry and heat until mixture thickens. Remove from stove. Cool well. Refrigerate. Spread on baked cake.