Possibly my favorite dessert ever. I love the tart yet sweet flavor of cheesecake. I love the creamy texture and the tender buttery crust. Basically I love everything about it. I've always been slightly intimidated by making my own though. Well, NO MORE! I made this with no mixer, no special equipment, all by hand. Next time I'll use my Kitchenaide, I wasn't at home for the making of this. All in all, I would say this recipe is suitable for beginners, it isn't difficult to make, the hardest part is leaving it alone in the oven to set. I think if you were to make this at night, you could sleep though the sitting in the oven, and pop it into the fridge in the AM. OR you could be like me and shorten the time in the oven slightly, and then go into the fridge. I also used fresh chopped strawberries with a little sugar as my topping, but I'll provide some recipes for fruit syrups and such that would go well with your cheesecake. My cheesecake did crack, but I also didn't pay attention to it. I think if I had greased the sides better it would have helped. I did give ways to help prevent the cracking as well.
15 graham crackers, crushed
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temp.
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup milk, room temp.
4 eggs, room temp.
1 cup sour cream, room temp.
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 Tbsp to 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, less flour=creamier texture more=cakey texture
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 inch springform pan. This is SOOOO important! If it is not well greased your cheesecake will crack as it tries to cool.
In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with spices and melted butter. Press evenly onto bottom of springform pan. You may not need all of this. I had about a half cup of this mixture leftover.
In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar just until smooth. Use your mixer for the first step, after the addition of the milk, switch to a wooden spoon. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Be VERY careful while mixing, if you overmix your cheesecake will most likely crack. Pour filling into prepared crust.
Wrap your pan with two secure layers of aluminum foil. Place your springform pan into a larger baking pan. Fill with hot water. Place this in the oven, bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off remove your cheesecake and run a warm knife around the outside, to help with the seperating from the pan. We are doing everything we can to prevent cracks. Put your cheesecake back into your hot oven. Let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking. Chill in refrigerator until serving.
Vanilla and Flour
I'm sorry for my terrible photos, I forgot to take pictures until there was only one piece left!