As you can see, I’ve been super lazy about posting. It’s not because I am not cooking/baking, which is kind of true, but I am burned out on finding memories that exactly fit the recipe. You’ve been bugging me, telling me that I don’t have to have a memory JUST POST THE RECIPE! So, I am going to try to release myself from matching recipes to memories.
You love cheesecake, I am not such a big fan. However, I volunteered to make this for a co-worker who is leaving Trader Joe’s. It sure looked tasty coming out of the oven, but until it’s cut it is a mystery as to the taste. Fingers crossed.
Simple Cheesecake Recipe
Prep time 25 mins
Cook time 2 hours 30 mins
Total time 2 hours 55 mins
Serves: 8 slices
- For The Graham Cracker Crust:
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (approximately 2 packages graham crackers sheets)
- ⅛ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
- For The Cheesecake Filling:
- 4 8-oz. cream cheese packages (2 lbs.), softened
- 1⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅛ tsp. kosher salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- ⅔ cup sour cream
- ⅔ cup heavy whipping cream
- Optional topping: Blueberry Compote
- For The Graham Cracker Crust:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- To turn the graham crackers into fine crumbs, place into a food processor and pulse until all the crackers are broken up into crumbs – the finer the better. You could also place the crackers, in batches, into a large sealed ziplock bag and pound with a mallet or heavy object.
- In order to prepare the 9 or 9½ inch springform pan so that no water leaks into it while cooking, place 3 equally-sized, large squares of tin foil on a flat surface – they should be larger than the springform pan with enough to go up the sides of the pan. Place the springform pan in the middle of the foil and gently fold up the sides around the pan. Make sure to do this carefully so that you don’t create any holes in the foil (any holes will allow water to get into the pan and can ruin the crust). Press the foil around the edges of the pan. Follow these same steps with the remaining 2 sheets of tin foil.
- Place the graham cracker crumbs into a large mixing bowl, along with the cinnamon and kosher salt and stir to combine. Add the melted butter and stir to combine. The finished mixture should be moist and hold together when pinched, but not liquidy.
- Pour the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of the springform pan (no need to grease). Gently press down on the mixture using your fingers or the back of a spoon until it forms an even layer at the bottom of the pan. If desired, you can create a slight rise along the inside edges of the pan.
- Place the crust in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
- Start heating a large pot (or tea kettle) with water until boiling. Once boiling, set aside (this will be used to make the water bath for the cheesecake)
- To make the filling, divide the cream cheese into large cubes and place into the bowl of an electric mixer.
- Using the paddle attachment, mix on medium speed for 4-5 minutes until the cream cheese is smooth and creamy.
- Add the sugar, then beat for 4 additional minutes.
- Add the remaining salt and vanilla extract, beating until incorporated.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each egg is added.
- Add the sour cream, and beat until incorporated.
- Add the heavy cream, and beat until incorporated.
- At this time, scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl using a spatula in order to release and chunks of cream cheese that are stuck to the bottom of the mixer. Then, beat again for a minute to mix well.
- Place the foil-wrapped springform pan in a large, high-sided roasting pan (like you would roast a turkey in).
- Pour the cream cheese filling into the springform pan over the graham cracker crust. Smooth the top using a rubber spatula.
- Place the roasting pan with the springform pan in the center of it into the oven on the lower rack.
- Carefully, pour the hot water you boiled into the roasting pan (without pouring onto the cheesecake), in order to create a water bath for the cheesecake. Stop when the water reaches half-way up the side of the springform pan, about 1½ inches.
- Cook at 325 degrees for 1½ hours.
- After 1½ hours, turn off the heat on the oven and crack open the oven door about 1-inch. Allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for one hour. This cooling technique will help prevent the cheesecake surface from cracking.
- Carefully place a sheet of tin foil over the cooled cheesecake (careful to not touch the cooked filling) and place into the refrigerator overnight, or for eat least 5 hours, preferably overnight.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator, the top layer of foil from the pan, and then remove the foil from the sides of the pan.
- Carefully slide the side of a knife between the edge of the pan and the cheesecake in order to release the sides of the cake from the pan before releasing the springform pan.
- Release the springform latch and carefully open the pan and lift up the sides.
- Slice using a sharp knife and drizzle with blueberry compote or eat plan, as desired.