The cheesecake I baked last night wasn't perfect, but it was pretty darn close! A crack-free top, a nutty, textured crust, smooth flavour. Why can't all cheesecakes be like this? :P
Note: any bumpiness you see is from the saran wrap covering it overnight in the fridge. When it first came out of the oven it was as smooth as glass!
The cheesecake came from two recipes on food.com: Absolutely The Best New York Cheesecake & Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake. Here's what I did:
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup chopped almonds
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 3/4 cup chopped vanilla wafer
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 40oz cream cheese (4.5 blocks)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 16 oz sour cream
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Crust: Take a 9" springform pan and place a sheet of parchment paper at the bottom. Attach and lock the rim and cut off the excess parchment paper.
Place all ingredients except butter in blender or food processor and mix until nuts/vanilla wafers are finely-chopped (but not a powder). Mix with melted butter and press mixture into the bottom of the springform pan. Place pan in freezer.
Filling: Start with ingredients at room temperature. Beat the cream cheese with the sugar at a medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream and eggs one at a time. Add all remaining ingredients and mix until well-blended. Make sure you scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl several times so that the batter is smooth.
Remove the springform pan from the freezer and pour the filling in the pan. Let it set for a minute and then gently lift and drop the pan a few times so that the air bubbles will come to the surface. Next, set the pan in a baking pan filled with enough water so that the water is 1-2" from the bottom of the springform pan.
Bake at 375F for 30 minutes. Then, reduce the temperature to 250F and bake for 2 hrs. Note: do NOT open the oven door at all!
When the cheesecake has finished baking, remove from the oven and the water bath and let set for 1 hr. Loosen the sides of the cheesecake with a knife or thin spatula. Refrigerate overnight. Unlock the remove the sides of the springform pan.
My only qualms with the recipe is that I should have baked it for longer. This may just be particular to my oven (gas), but an extra 15 minutes would have done no harm.
Oh, I almost forgot the most important step:
Serve yourself & your family/friends a slice and enjoy!
Or if you're like me and know you'll be gone for the week, have two ;)