Classic Cheesecake with Salted Caramel Sauce

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Classic Cheesecake with Salted Caramel Sauce

Servings 10

Ingredients

  • Graham Cracker Crust:
  • cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • Cheesecake:
  • four (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, softened to full room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup chopped candied pecans, optional for topping
  • Salted Caramel:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons salted butter, room temperature cut up into 6 pieces
  • ½ cup heavy cream, room temp
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Crust:
  3. Stir together all of the crust ingredients, mixing until thoroughly combined.
  4. Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a pie or springform pan, making a thicker layer on the bottom than on the sides. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  5. Filling:
  6. In a large bowl, mix together the room-temperature cream cheese (make sure it is completely softened in order to prevent lumps) and sugar until smooth. Add the sour cream, vanilla extract, and lemon juice; combine well. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until just blended. If using an electric mixer, set at low-medium speed to avoid beating too much air into the batter.
  7. To make cheesecake:
  8. Wrap aluminum foil around the springform pan (if there are any holes, water will get into the pan and ruin the crust), press the foil around the edges of the pan tightly. Place a second square of foil underneath the pan, and repeat. You can repeat this step a third time – just to be triple safe (but it’s 100% optional!).
  9. Pour the cheesecake batter on top of the crust. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the crust and smooth the top. Place the pan inside of a large roasting pan. Carefully pour hot boiling water inside of the pan and place in the oven.
  10. Bake the cheesecake for 60 to 70 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cake jiggles evenly across the top when lightly shaken. Crack open the oven door 1-inch, and let the cake cool in the oven, as the oven cools, for another hour. This gentle cooling will help prevent the cheesecake surface from cracking. Cover loosely and transfer to refrigerator; chill for a minimum of 4 hours, or overnight.
  11. Salted Caramel:
  12. Heat sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. Carefully stir until sugar melts into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid. Be careful not to burn.
  13. Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2 minutes.
  14. Carefully pour in cream and immediately whisk to combine (it will bubble vigorously). Whisk until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Allow to cool down; transfer to a glass jar.
  15. Right before serving cheesecake, drizzle salted caramel and top with pecans (if using). Enjoy!
  16. ** Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for several days; freeze for longer storage.