Polish-American-Style Cheesecake (Sernik Philadelphia)

Polish-American-Style Cheesecake (Sernik Philadelphia)


Graham Cracker Crust:

1 1/2 cups graham crackers (crushed)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 ounces butter (melted)
Cream Cheese Filling:
 24 ounces cream cheese (softened)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs (room temperature)
1 teaspoon salt
1 dash cinnamon
Sour Cream Topping:
16 ounces sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Steps to Make It
Make the Graham Cracker Crust
Mix together 1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 4 ounces melted butter.
Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides, (or partially up the sides, if desired) of a 10-inch springform pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes while you prepare the filling.

Make the Filling

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together 3 (8-ounce) packages softened cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, 3 large room-temperature eggs, 1 teaspoon salt and dash of cinnamon until smooth and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.
Pour into prepared crust and bake 40 minutes or until only a slight jiggle is seen in the center of the cheesecake.
Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Increase oven heat to 400 degrees.
Make the Sour Cream Topping
Increase oven temperature to 400 F.
In a small bowl, mix together thoroughly 16 ounces sour cream, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Spread evenly over top of hot cheesecake. Bake for 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack (do not remove springform pan). When the cheesecake is cool, refrigerate it in the pan until thoroughly cold.
When ready to serve, run a knife around the cheesecake and remove the ring. Using a large spatula or cake lifter, transfer cheesecake to a serving plate, slice and serve plain or garnished with a few strawberries, cherry pie filling or other fruit and whipped cream, if desired. Refrigerate leftovers, covered.