A Cheesecake full of love (and other yummy things)
What you need:
9×6 Springform Pan
A Food Processor. You can use a blender to pulse your crumbs, but it might not be as fine!
An Electric Mixer
A Large Cake Pan large enough to place the springform pan inside it, to create a water bath. You can also use a roasting pan if you don’t have an extra-large cake pan.
To make the Crust:
5 TB melted unsalted butter (plus a little softened butter to coat the pan!)
1/4 C sugar
1/4 tsp salt
12-16 Graham Crackers (use 12 if you like a basic crust, 16 if you like it a little thicker and want all those yummy graham cracker crumbs! If using more than 12, add 1 more TB of butter to the mixture) You can use any kind of cookie you have on hand, a vanilla wafer crust is very yummy with this recipe, too!
Pulse the crackers, sugar and salt together until the crackers are reduced to a fine crumb. Add the melted butter and pulse until combined.
Use the softened butter to coat the springform cake pan, and add the crumb mixture.
Using the bottom a measuring cup (1/4 cup is my favorite to use!), press the crumb mix into the bottom and around 1-inch up the sides.
Preheat your oven to 375 and bake the crumb mix until set (around 12-15 minutes).
When you pull the crust out, reduce the oven to 325 and get started on your filling!
For the Filling:
2 1/2 lbs of Cream Cheese (soft and at room temperature)
1 Cup Sour Cream
1 1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste (alternative, if you’re not a vanilla fan: 1-2 tsp lemon zest)
1 TB Vanilla Extract (alternative, if you’re not a vanilla fan: 1 TB lemon juice)
Beat the cream cheese on a medium speed until fluffy (don’t forget to scrape down the bowl at least twice!) then add the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping after each addition. Beat in the salt and vanilla bean paste and extract. Then beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each one you add. Finally, add the sour cream, beating until combined. And then…you guessed it: scrape the bowl down one more time!
Now it’s time to prep the water bath!
Wrap the bottom of the springform pan in foil and place it inside the cake pan. Pour the cheesecake filling into the pan and place the entire set up in the oven. Taking a pitcher of water, slowly pour water into the cake pan (not the Springform pan!) until it reaches about the halfway mark on the Springform pan.
Now you’re ready to bake the cheesecake! Bake it until the filling sets, around 1 hour and 45 minutes. Though I like to check it around the hour and a half mark, just in case!
When the cheesecake is done, take the pan out of the water bath and let it cool for a half hour before putting it in the fridge to chill for at least 12 hours.