Cheesecake

If you really think about it, Cheesecake is kinda strange… It’s a dessert, but it’s made with cream cheese and sour cream? Whoever came up with this crazy idea though was doing something right because cheesecake is delicious! For me, it’s the graham cracker crust that really hooks me in.

Since there’s isn’t always a reason to make an entire cheesecake, I will also be including the recipe for making a 1/2 batch of this cheesecake that can be baked in a loaf pan! It has the same ingredients, but the baking technique is slightly different.

Ingredients

Loaf sized

  • 8 graham cracker sleeves
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 8oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 eggs

Full sized

  • 12 graham cracker sleeves
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 c granulated sugar
  • 4 8oz cream cheese
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 eggs

It is important that all of the ingredients for the filling are at room temperature before you start.

For both, a food processor would be helpful when making the crust. If you do not have one, then just use a large ziplock and a mallet or rolling pin to crush the graham crackers. For the large cheesecake, you will need a springform pan. They can typically be found at your local grocery store with the other baking supplies.

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Directions

Loaf sized

  1. Preheat the over to 325°F.
  2. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving the excess so it’s easier to remove from the pan later.
  3. Using a food processor, add the graham crackers and pulse until it’s the consistency of sand.
    • You would stop when there are only a few tiny chucks if you’d like.
  4. Add 1 tbsp of sugar and melted butter and mix thoroughly.
  5. Pour the crust into the lined loaf pan and pack down.
  6. Prebake the crust for 20 minutes and then remove it from the oven and allow it to cool slightly.
  7. While the crust is baking, using a stand mixer or hand mixer, combine the cream cheese and granulated sugar until it is smooth.
  8. Add the sour cream, vanilla and lemon juice and mix until combined.
  9. Add the eggs in one at a time, stopping the mixer once each egg has been combined to prevent overmixing.
    • For the half of an egg, crack the egg in a bowl and whisk it. Use half of the whisked egg and discard the remainder.
  10. Pour the batter into the prebaked crust and smooth it out using a rubber spatula.
  11. Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes. A toothpick should come out mostly clean.
  12. Allow the cheesecake to cool fully before putting it in the refrigerator to chill for a minimum of 4 hours.

Full sized

  1. Preheat the over to 350°F. Move the rack to the lower position.
  2. Using a food processor, add the graham crackers and pulse until it’s the consistency of sand.
    • You would stop when there are only a few tiny chucks if you’d like.
  3. Add 1/4 c of sugar and melted butter and mix thoroughly.
  4. Pour the crust into the lightly sprayed springform pan and pack down.
  5. Prebake the crust for 8 minutes and then remove it from the oven and allow it to cool slightly. Wrap the outside of the pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.
  6. While the crust is baking, using a stand mixer or hand mixer, combine the cream cheese and granulated sugar until it is smooth.
  7. Add the sour cream, vanilla and lemon juice and mix until combined.
  8. Add the eggs in one at a time, stopping the mixer once each egg has been combined to prevent overmixing.
  9. Pour the batter into the prebaked crust and smooth it out using a rubber spatula.
  10. Place the foil-wrapped cheesecake into a roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with about 1 inch of boiling water.
    • If you do not have a roasting pan, you can put 1 inch of boiling water in a baking dish and place it in the oven on the shelf directly below the cheesecake.
    • The water bath helps to prevent the cheesecake from cracking.
  11. Bake the cheesecake for 60 minutes.
    • If you slightly shake the pan, the center should be jiggly. You should not remove the cheesecake from the oven to check if it is done; it is best to leave it in the oven.
  12. Crack the oven door and allow the cheesecake to remain in the oven for another hour.
  13. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow it to get to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator to chill for a minimum of 4 hours.

Test Kitchen: Opinion and Changes

I got these recipes from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I was making the large cheesecake for a family gathering but I wanted to test the recipe prior to make sure it was good. In both situations, the filling was delicious. It was creamy yet dense which is good. For the loaf-sized one, the crust was good and held it’s shape nicely. For the larger one, for some reason, the crust seemed to be soft as if it wasn’t prebaked long enough. It stuck to the serving spoon and would pull away from the filling easily. This could be due to either not baking the crust long enough or a leaky pan which allowed water to seep in during the water bath.

 

Happy Baking!

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