Cheesecakes can be tricky and can bog down even the best of chefs, but if you take my word for it this recipe will not disappoint you. Especially for those, who have been let down by cheesecake recipes, this recipe must definitely be given a try for its simplicity and taste, OFCOURSE.
The list of ingredients might intimidate you newbies, but the cliché “don’t judge a book by its cover” fits perfectly for this yummy recipe. If you can squeeze in 30-odd minutes during the day I insist you try this and satisfy your cheesecake cravings. And also, by the end of it you will feel good about succeeding at making a cheesecake.
The base of the cheesecake is a deal-maker or deal-breaker for me, at least. For best results I prefer graham crackers, but if they’re unavailable in your pantry don’t hesitate in substituting with any other biscuits. Just make sure to not use sweet biscuits because you don’t want the crust to have an overpowering taste.
What most people overlook is that they don’t press the base tight enough which ends in a crumbly texture and absolutely kills it for me. Make sure you use a flat based tool to firmly press the cracker base mixed with sugar and unsalted butter when you chuck it into a pre-heated oven at 325F for 14-18 minutes.
Don’t just turn down the oven heat rather amp it up to 500F because once the filling is complete you want your oven to be heated at the right temperature. Just like any other cake the fluffy-ness and lightness of a cheesecake depends solely on the mixing of the cream cheese and sugar. The more your beat this mixture the lighter will be your cake. But don’t get carried away and 5 minutes on medium-high speed will do the trick for you.
Next comes the part where you’ve got to be extra careful. When you add the eggs make sure they go in one egg at a time and the speed of your mixer is set on medium. Turn off that mixer and then fold in your lemon zest, vanilla and sour cream for that extra zing to your cake. If you have a “sour-tooth” don’t hold back with the sour cream and sneak in a little more than the recipe states.
Ensure your cracker base is completely cooled down before you pour your mixture into the tin because otherwise it will create moisture and hamper with the baking. The first ten minutes bake the cake at 500F and then bring down the temperature to 200F.
It’s always handy to have a thermometer for recipes like this because the “insert-the-skewer” trick won’t work. After approximately 2 and a half hours your thermometer should read 165F when inserted in the center and that is when you know it’s the moment of truth.
If you hurry into cutting the cake all your efforts will be in vain. Let the cake cool for 3 hours and refrigerate overnight for the best results. When we say food must be appealing to the eye, we don’t just say it out of habit. It is true! If you want to have the perfect glossy look on your cake make sure you de-mold it after it has been completely cooled.
Do try this recipe out, because its not just simple, but it is also absolutely delicious!
- 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and divided
- 2½ lb cream cheese, (5 8-oz packages) at room temperature
- 1½ cups sugar
- 5 extra large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 extra large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 2 lemons, zest only
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 1Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 325F.
- 2Brush the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with ½ tablespoon of the melted butter.
- 3In a medium bowl, combine the graham crackers, sugar, and 5 tablespoons melted butter. Blend with a fork and pour mixture into a 9-inch springform pan.
- 4Use the bottom of a measuring cup to firmly press the crumbs evenly into the pan bottom. Don’t form a crust on the sides of the pan. 5Bake for 14 to 18 minutes. Remove pan and set aside.
- 1Increase the oven temperature to 500F.
- 2In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- 3Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs and egg yolks, 2 at a time, mixing well. Scrape the beater and bowl well with a rubber spatula, as needed. With the mixer on low, add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Set aside.
- 4Brush the sides of your springform pan with the remaining butter. Pour filling onto the cooled crust.
- 5Bake for 10 minutes on 500F, then reduce the oven temperature to 200F. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center reads 165F, about 2 hours and 30 minutes. The cheesecake will not be completely set in the center.
- 6Remove pan and let it sit at room temperature for another 2 ½ to 3 hours, until completely cooled. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- 7Remove the cake from the springform pan by carefully running a paring knife around the outside of the cake.