I love this cheesecake for many reasons, several of which I will list here:
- It’s hella creamy, but also fluffy
- The top is very unlikey to crack, making it aesthetically pleasing, as well
- There are only 8 (!) ingredients in the whole thing
- It’s simple, making the possibilities endless
Before you start on this journey, I want you to be aware that the only drawback of making this chunk of heaven is that it will take about 12 hours from start to eat. Most of that is just waiting for it to cool, so my recommendation is to start the afternoon before and have it for breakfast the next day.
You’ll need the following for the crust:
- 1 1/2 C Graham cracker crumbs (buy already crushed or make your own)
- 1/3 C Granulated sugar
- 6 Tbsp Salted butter
And for the best part:
- 4 Blocks of Cream cheese – 8 oz each, full fat, room temp
- 1 C Granulated sugar
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 tsp lemon juice (optional)
- 1 C Sour cream, full fat, room temp
- 3 Eggs, room temp
You’ll also need:
- A 9 or 10 inch springform pan
- a large roasting pan to use a bain marie (water bath)
- Boiling water for that bain marie
- Aluminum foil
Start by making the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the butter and use a fork to combine it fully with the graham cracker crumbs and 1/3 C sugar. Gently mash the mixture into the bottom and partially up the sides of a 9 or 10 inch Spring Form pan. Level it out as well as possible, then bake it in the pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes. Once it is done, take it out and set it aside to allow it to cool. Keep the oven on at 350.
- Place the cream cheese into a large bowl. Use either a handheld mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment to cream it for about two minutes. Add the granulated sugar and allow them to cream together for another two minutes.
- Add the extract, sour cream, and lemon juice, and mix on low until fully combined. Finally, add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until just combined. You don’t want to overmix it.
- Start a pot of boiling water. This will be used in the bain marie.
- Take the springform pan (with just the crust) and place it in the middle of a piece of aluminum foil, then fold the sides up to seal the bottom of the pan. This should prevent leaks from the water that it will be sitting in. Place all this into the middle of the large roasting pan, then pour the hot water into the roasting pan until there is about an inch and a half of water.
- Gently pour the cheesecake mixture onto the crust and smooth the top with a spatula. Place the roasting ban into the oven and bake for 55 to 65 minutes. The center will almost be set.
- When your timer goes off, turn off your oven, but don’t open the door! Leave the cheesecake in there for another hour as the oven cools. This is where your test of patience begins.
- After that agonizing hour, there is more agony. Take the cheesecake out of the oven and out of its bain marie, and allow it to cool to room temp (uncovered). (It will be wobbly. This is normal!!) This will take hours. You can put it in the fridge if you’re getting impatient, but it may collapse a bit if cooled too quickly.
- When you’re ready to serve, take a butter knife and slide it gently along the edges before releasing the springform pan. Top with whatever you’d like (we did cherry pie filling for this picture) and serve!