Cheesecake by Turmoil
A few years ago, my best friend owned a bakery that made some of the best cheesecake that I'd ever had.
She was kind enough to share the recipe with me and it's been the same one I've been using for the past 7 years.
Everyone that's had it has complimented it and I thought it was about time to share the recipe.
First off, I prep my springform pan.
Since I use a 10" springform pan, I wrap some aluminum foil around the bottom insert. This makes it a lot easier to get the finished cake off the pan and also helps from leakage as I turn the ends up after I've locked the collar around the base.
Something I've started lately is placing parchment paper strips around the outside of the pan.
This helps a lot when de-panning the finished cheesecake since the sides of the collar don't stick.
Don't worry if you don't have a springform pan. You can use a regular pan if it's 10" wide and 3" deep. Just line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper as shown here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/ck_...1737349,00.html And then put strips of parchment paper around the sides.
Once the pan is prepared, it's time to make the crust.
Pre-heat the oven to 300°F.
- 15 whole graham crackers
- 1 stick of butter (cut into 1 tbs pieces)
- 1/4 cup sugar
Break the crackers up a bit and place them in the work bowl of a food processor and add the sugar.
Pulse them about 7-10 times until they're pretty broken up then add the butter and pulse until the butter disappears.
Place the mixture onto the bottom of the prepped pan and gently pat down to even it out.
Put the pan in the oven for 10 minutes to blind bake the crust and then move it the refrigerator.
Note: If you don't have a food processor, just put the crackers in a plastic bag and crush until fine with a rolling pin or even a can. Place the crumbs into a bowl and add the sugar and mix it up. Melt the butter and pour it over the crumbs and work it in initially with a fork and then use your hands.
I used to do it this way for the longest time and switched to the food processor as I found working the unmelted butter into the crumbs produced a lighter and less greasy crust.
The next part is making the filling.
Turn the oven down to 275°.
- 24 oz. Cream cheese (cut into cubes)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract (optional)
Put the cubed cream cheese in your work bowl and add the sugar. I tend to do this part before I start on the crust to let it sit at room temperature for a little while to soften up.
Use a mixer to work the sugar into the cream cheese and mix until relatively smooth.
In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs together.
Then add the sour cream and whisk until smooth.
Add the vanilla and lemon extract and whisk until combined. Note: You can leave the lemon extract out if you like, though it adds a nice flavor that a lot of people don't expect.
Add the sour cream mixture to the cream cheese and use the mixer to mix until smooth.
Pour the batter into the pan with the crust you made earlier and place it in the 275° oven like so for 1 hour:
After an hour, open then oven door for 1 minute. Close the door and bake for another hour.
Note: I use a baking stone in my oven most of the time and I find when making cheesecake, it really softens the heat and removes the need to use a water bath(which you can't do with a springform pan anyhow).
If you don't have a baking stone, you could use a water bath if you use a normal pan. The technique is talked about here: http://www.ciachef.edu/press/recipe...ticle_cake.html One thing it doesn't mention is to put a towel in the bottom of the pan. I find that helps.
If you can't do the above two, you can add a tablespoon of cornstarch to the cream cheese and sugar part of the batter to help prevent cracks. Then open the oven for a little bit every 15 minutes for the first hour. In the second hour, after you've opened the door for a minute, you can turn the oven off after you've closed the door again.
After the cheesecake has finished baking, remove it and place it on a cooling rack for 1 to 2 hours.
After than, refrigerate for at least 6 hours then de-pan it.
I place mine on a cardboard round covered in foil, like so:
I tend to like my cheesecake plain and without any special topping, though strawberry preserves or cherry pie filling go well on top of it.