Another of my Friend Favorites is Drew’s Cheese Cake. There is no other cheesecake in the world that is as good as this. At least not in my world. It is a little time consuming but the end result is more than worth it. Drew first made this cheesecake for us when he came to our home for Thanksgiving Dinner in 2003. Since then it has been a tradition each year even if Drew doesn’t join us for dinner. When he doesn’t make it for dinner our friend Jodie makes his cheesecake and it tastes exactly like Drew’s.
For the Crust
1 Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
¾ Cup Finely Ground Pecans
½ Cup Sugar
4 Ounces Unsalted Butter Melted (1 Stick)
For the Cake
4 Large Eggs
1 Cup Sugar
24 Ounces Cream Cheese at Room Temperature (3 – 8 oz Packs Philadelphia Brand)
1/2 Cup Half and Half
16 Ounces Sour Cream
¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 350º. Spray the bottom and side of a 9” Spring Form pan with Pam Spray for Baking.
Blend Graham crackers, butter, sugar and pecans. Mix well and press firmly on bottom and half way up the side of the pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the sugar, cream cheese and half and half on medium high speed until well blended. With the mixer speed on low add eggs one at a time being sure each egg is blended in before adding the next. Pour into prepared pan and place on a baking sheet to catch butter that will leak out of pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min. Turn oven off and leave cake in oven for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 35 minutes.
Turn oven up to 450º and preheat. Mix topping ingredients well, pour over cake and smooth with a small offset metal spatula. Return to oven and bake for 15 minutes in preheated 450 Degree (or 425 IUCO) oven. Remove from oven and place cake on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes of cooling, use a very thin small knife or small metal spatula to loosen the side from the pan. Remove the springform side and cool completely before placing in refrigerator. After completely cooled the cake will easily come off of the springform bottom. You can then place on a serving dish and garnish with fresh berries.