This recipe is one of my own, based on a few different recipes I've tried
over the years. A special tip of the chef's hat to the fine folks at
Illustrated who tested out a lot of different cooking methods, and gave me the
trick that gives me perfect texture with no cracks, every time (I still worry
about saying that and jinxing myself though!)
This recipe is specifically tested in a 10" springform pan, but I've made it
in a 9" and 8" with slight modifications in either quantity or oven timing.
My husband LOVES graham cracker crust, so I usually quadruple the recipe I
originally started with. That's right. Quadruple. It's great! If you're doing it
in a 9" or 8", triple is probably about right if you want room for the
Base crust recipe - perfectly fine, but WAY too skinny for our family.
- 4 oz graham cracker crumbs (about 2 cups)
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 T sugar
- 2 oz unsalted butter (1/4 cup) melted
My crust recipe: (quadruple ratio)
- 16 oz of cookie crumbs - usually 2/3 graham crackers and 1/3 vanilla
wafers (about 8 cups)
- 1tsp salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 8 oz unsalted butter (1 cup/2 sticks) melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and put the rack on the lower middle
- Combine the crumbs, salt and sugar until well blended.
- Pour the melted butter into the mixture and stir with a fork until well
- Brush the bottom and sides of a springform pan with melted butter.
- Pour the mixture into the springform pan and press most of the mixture
down, until it is well compressed, and some of it up along the sides of the
pan, about half way up, using your fingers or the flat bottom of a glass or
- Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
Cheesecake Custard recipe
- 2 1/2 lbs of cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups + 2 T granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 6 of our eggs (or 5 large eggs - or 4 large eggs and 2 yolks)
- 1 T vanilla extract
- 1 T lemon juice from one lemon
Preheat oven to 500 degrees, and move the rack to the lower middle
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, with the paddle attachment (if using a
kitchenaid or similar) beat the cheese until smooth.
- Scrape the bowl.
- Add vanilla, salt, lemon juice, and sugar, mixing until combined.
- Add the sour cream and mix until blended.
- Scrape the bowl
Note: Get it smooth now! Scrape the bowl, scrape loose stuff off the beater(s)
and beat it until it's smooth. Any lumps left in here when the eggs go in will
be in the final cake!
- Add eggs one or two at a time and mix at low/medium speed. Try not to
overbeat once the eggs go in. Don't mix longer than a minute for each
addition. Over beating the eggs can be a cause of cracks in the cake
- Scrape between additions.
- Pour into the springform pan and wait a minute for any air bubbles to rise. Pop any
visible bubbles with a toothpick.
- Place cheesecake in oven for 10 minutes.
- Without opening the door, turn
oven down to 200 degrees and cook for another 90 minutes, or until an
instant read thermometer in the center reads 150 degrees (90 minutes in my
oven.) This is also one of the things that keeps the cake from cracking -
the slower cooking.
- Set the cake on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
- Slide a sharp knife along the edge of the cheesecake, freeing it from
the side of the springform pan. I like to open the springform pan and then
close it back up, so I know it's really freed. Doing this also keeps the
cake from cracking while it cools, and would otherwise pull away from the
- Allow to sit out for at least 3 hours (it is still cooking by residual
heat - don't put it in the fridge yet!)
- Refrigerate for a couple of hours, or overnight, for best texture.