I love me some cheesecake. I try not to eat a whole lot of it because, well, I don’t need all the calories! But this is a very tasty recipe that got the compliment that I should be selling it. I’ll take that!
This was the first time using my spring-form pan, which worked beautifully. Be sure to read through thoroughly and at then end, you’ll find tips on how to keep your cheesecake from cracking in the middle – a very common problem for everyone.
Ingredients for Cheesecake:
- 6 eggs
- 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 – 8oz packages of cream cheese
- 1/2 pint heavy cream
- 8oz sour cream
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp flour
Ingredients for Crust:
- 1 1/2 cups of graham crackers, crushed
- 6 tbsp melted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 325°. I’ll say here that having a standing mixes is much easier than using any other method. Also, this recipe will fill a 9″ diameter, 3″ deep spring-form pan. If you are going to use something smaller, like a standard round cake pan – divide the recipe in half, or make mini cheesecakes in a muffin tin with the excess.
TIP: Use room temperature ingredients, especially the cream cheese and eggs.
Mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, heavy cream, sugar, flour, and vanilla extract. Once it becomes smooth, add the eggs – one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl. Try to avoid beating air into the mixture. At the end, mix in the juice of the lemon.
It should look pretty much like this:
For the crust, melt the butter then add the sugar and graham crackers.
TIP: You can substitute graham crackers for vanilla wafers or oreo cookies!
To make the crushing of the graham crackers easier, I did it on a paper towel (or use a flexible cutting mat) to make transferring it simpler. The amount used is basically one package of the Honey Maid™ graham crackers that I used – there’s three in a box.
Be sure to grease the sides of the pan with butter and the bottom, or use parchment paper for the bottom to make removing the cheesecake from the pan to something else much easier.
Put the crust mixture in the bottom of the pan. Press evenly on the bottom and if you have extra, you can go up the side of the pan as well.
Pour the cream cheese mixture into the pan, best to do it over a spoon to avoid disturbing the crust.
I used a water bath – which means for a spring-form pan, wrapping the bottom of it in aluminum foil before placing it into a bigger pan that is half filled with HOT water. You want the water to be roughly half way up the pan. If you don’t want to do this, you can also put the pan of water on a lower rack than the cheesecake.
Bake for roughly an hour and 20 minutes. When checking the cheesecake, it should be set along the edges and jiggly in the middle. Turn off the oven and leave it in there to cool. When you can pull the pan out with your hands, make sure it is completely cooled on a rack before you chill it in the refrigerator.
Note here that it will pull away from the sides of the pan.
While the cheesecake is cooking, you can make the sauce. It is incredibly easy!
- 12oz of frozen raspberries or 16 oz of fresh.
- 2 tbsp of sugar
- 3 -4 tbsp of champagne
Using a blender, puree the raspberries until smooth. Strain the raspberries using a strainer that has a mesh that is smaller than the seeds can go through. If a few seeds make it into the sauce, it’s okay. You may have to keep scraping the sieve until all the liquid goes through, as the seeds will block it up.
Add the sugar and champagne, stir and put over a medium heat so that the sauce reduces slightly to thicken. Set aside to cool completely.
You really want the cheesecake to chill in the fridge for a day to let it set up. Then enjoy!
TIPS TO KEEP IT FROM CRACKING IN THE MIDDLE:
- Use a water bath. Fill a baking pan with HOT water. Place on the lower rack or place your cheesecake pan in the middle of it. Water keeps the moisture in the oven.
- Place cheesecake on the center rack of the oven to allow for even cooking.
- Avoid over mixing the ingredients. Air getting trapped into the mixture will cause cracking.
- Do not open the over during the first 45 minutes of baking. Drafts can cause cracking.
- Greasing the sides of the pan will also help prevent cracking. The cheesecake will pull away from the sides and it needs to be able to do that, or it will pull from the center.
- Avoid over-cooking. This is definitely cause it to crack. Make sure to keep an eye on it after the first hour. Oven temps vary from oven to oven.