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Best Cheesecake Recipe

Ingredients 

FOR THE CRUST:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

FOR THE CHEESECAKE:

  • 22 ounces cream cheese 2 ¾ blocks (room temperature)
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces sour cream plus 2/3 cup sour cream (room temperature)
  • 4 large eggs whisked, room temperature

Instructions 

  • **Plan ahead and make sure the cream cheese, sour cream and eggs are at room temperature. This will help the ingredients cream together more smoothly.**
  • Spray a 9″ springform pan with cooking spray.

MAKE THE CRUST:

  • Preheat the oven to 325º Fahrenheit.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar.
  • Press the cracker crumbs into the bottom of the springform pan.
  • Bake the crust for about 6 minutes or until golden brown. Allow the crust to cool completely.
  • Wrap the outside of the springform pan with two layers of foil. This will help seal the bottom so that water doesn’t get in.

MAKE THE CHEESECAKE FILLING:

  • Place the cream cheese in a large bowl. Use 22 ounces of cream cheese which is 2 8-ounce blocks and then an additional 6 ounces. The cream cheese should be at room temperature.
  • Use a hand mixer on low speed to cream the cream cheese until it is smooth. Don’t beat too much air into the cream cheese. Mix on low speed just until smooth and any lumps are out.
  • With the mixer on low speed, mix in the sugar and vanilla extract. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Mix in the sour cream and mix on low speed just until blended.
  • Crack the eggs into a small bowl. Use a hand whisk to gently whisk the eggs together to break up the yolks. Don’t whisk them too much. You don’t want them frothy.
  • Add the eggs to the cream cheese mixture and blend the eggs into the cream cheese mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix just until combined.
  • Pour the batter into the springform pan with the pre-baked crust.
  • Tap the pan on the counter 4-5 times. This will help bring any air bubbles to the top so that they pop. Allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes. Tap again if any more air bubbles surface. This will help your cheesecake have a nice thick texture.
  • Preheat the oven to 325º Fahrenheit.
  • Heat 4 quarts of water on the stove or in the microwave until steaming but not necessarily boiling.
  • Pour about an inch and a half of water in a 10×15″ baking pan.
  • Place the wrapped springform pan into the water bath.
  • The water should come about halfway up the side of the pan. Pour in additional water if needed.
  • Place the cheesecake (in the water bath) in the preheated oven.
  • Allow the cake to bake for 60 minutes. Do not open the oven.
  • After 60 minutes, turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to sit in the oven for another 5 hours. Don’t open the oven. Just allow the cheesecake to sit in the oven while the oven cools.
  • After 5 hours, remove the cheesecake from the oven and the pan. Remove the foil wrap.
  • Loosely cover the cheesecake and place it in the refrigerator to firm up overnight.
  • Serve the next day with your favorite toppings.

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