Let’s start simple, and what is more simple than vanilla? There is just something delicious about a slice of vanilla cheesecake piled high with strawberries, or any other topping, for that matter. By adding vanilla bean ﬂecks and heavy cream into this cheesecake, simple vanilla becomes extraordinary. One of the best things about this easy cheesecake is that you can use it as a base to create so many other fun ﬂavors.
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
- Cooking and Prep: 1 h 50 m
- Serves: 14
Place a large rimmed baking sheet on the very bottom rack of the oven and ﬁll it halfway with water. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 10-inch springform pan with parchment paper.
Prepare the Cheesecake
Pulse the cookies in a food processor a few times until they are completely crushed.
Mix together the cookie crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until it resembles coarse sand. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside.
Beat the cream cheese until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until smooth.
Add the cream and vanilla bean paste and beat until creamy.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addi tion. Make sure the eggs are fully incorporated, but do not overbeat the batter.
Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust. Place the pan on the oven rack right above the tray of water. Bake the cheesecake for one hour and 20 minutes.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven and place it on a wire rack. Let cool for five minutes, then run a sharp knife around the edges of the cheese cake to loosen it from the pan.
Let the cheesecake cool for one hour, then refrigerate it for four to six hours, or until completely chilled. Detach the springform pan ring and remove the cheesecake from the pan. Slide the cheesecake onto a serving plate.
Serve with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream and fresh strawberries, if desired.
With three simple ingredients, you can have a fluffy topping that is perfect for garnishing the tops of cheesecakes. Chill a metal bowl and mixer whisk attachment in the freezer for 30 minutes. Pour one cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste into the chilled bowl. Beat the mixture on high speed until stiff peaks form. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for three to four days. Whip again briefly before serving.
This recipe originally appeared in Cheesecake Love by Jocelyn Brubaker (St. Martin’s Press, 2017). Photography by Jocelyn Brubaker. Reprinted with permission.