explanatory note: I have come to hate blogging. It has become intimidating to me. I feel like I have to make a perfectly worded, deep and thought-provoking post complete with pictures and insightful links. That is not where I am right now. Right now I am great a capturing little things our family is doing in a quick little facebook post and calling it good. I love looking back on my wall & remembering the things my kids said and how crappy days are quickly followed by awesome days. So that's where I am these days. Also, instagram, now that I have an iPhone again (YAY!!)
BUT I have been asked many times for my cheesecake recipe and I figure it'd be easier to post it online somewhere so I can just send people here for it. This is the base recipe, I'll tell you where to mix it up, but no matter what you add to it, you MUST follow the technique. That is how you get a perfect, crack-free cheesecake. Don't mess with it. Take the time. It's worth it. Plan ahead. Start in the morning. I cannot cake credit for this or really any recipe I use. Well, except for my Whole Wheat Waffles, I've messed with that one enough that I feel like I can claim it. Back in Layton, Cydney & I went to a couple of cooking classes at Corbin's Grille. If they are still doing it, and you are in the area, you should totally go. They know what they are doing.
So without further ado.... I give you Un-Friken-Believable Cheesecake
Everything (eggs, sour cream, cream cheese, butter) should be at room temperature before beginning. This is non-negotiable. Unless you like gooey, cracked cheesecake, and that is NOT the point of this recipe.
1 pack Lorna Doone cookies
2 oz salted butter, super soft but not melted
Mix the cookies in a food processor until you have a fine crumb then mix the butter in with your hands. Pack tightly onto only the bottom of a heavily sprayed 10" springform or cheesecake pan. Bake at 425 for 3-5 minutes. Set aside while you make the filling. Turn the oven down to 350.
2 lbs Philly cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
pinch of lemon zest
1/2 tsp lemon juice
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the cream cheese for a few minutes until it's silky. Add the sour cream and mix till it's totally combined, scraping down the sides a few times. Add sugar, vanilla, zest & lemon and combine, scraping down the sides. Add eggs one at a time, mixing each in completely before adding the next.
Surround the pan with a layer or two of tin foil. Now you're going to make water bath for your cheesecake. Place your tin foiled springform pan in roasting pan or big cake pan (in a pinch, use a rimmed cookie sheet, but it's not ideal) and pour the filling over the crust. Place both pans in the oven, then pour water into the bigger pan, until the water is about 3/4 of height of the cheesecake, and being sure not to get any into the cheesecake filling. (I always move the pans into the oven before pouring the water in because it gets heavy & I don't want to slosh water all over my floor.)
Bake at 350 for 65 minutes. The center should still be a bit jiggly when nudged, but DON'T GET IT OUT YET!!! Turn the oven off and open the oven door & let it hang out for 20 minutes. Then take it out of the water bath & let it hang out on the counter for an hour. Then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
I've made this a pumpkin cheesecake by substituting the sour cream for 1 cup of pumpkin puree and the lemon zest for a generous amount of pumpkin pie spices. I probably use 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg & 1/2 tsp ginger. Keep the lemon juice though.
I have also added mini chocolate chips to the batter. Just coat them with a bit of flour before you add them, to help them not all sink to the bottom.
The Lorna Doones are an expensive cookie and not widely available. I have used Oreos, graham crackers and homemade shortbread and sugar cookies with great results. The main thing with this is to to follow the method and have everything at room temperature.
In the next little bit I'll be making one & I'll add pictures.