AH! My first post. So exciting. And what better way to start than to explain how I make cheesecake. The latest dessert I made and my favorite thus far. And let me tell you, I have made quite a few desserts in my 29 (almost 30) years of life. Cheesecake is actually very easy to make, it is just a bit time consuming. The crust is so simple and buttery, and the filling is creamy and rich- so delicious! Cheesecake is also a great dessert for any occasion, as you can serve it plain, or spruce it up with fruit or chocolate.
What you will need…
9 in. springform pan
For the crust:
2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
32 oz. full fat cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
What to do: (Tips: I used an electric hand mixer as I do not have a regular electric mixer. I know, right?! One day…. one day. Also, make the day before you want to serve because cheesecake needs to chill for several hours or even overnight which is what I did.)
Spray or butter a 9 in. springform pan. Place the pan on a larger baking sheet to catch any leakage while the cheesecake is baking. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
To make the crust:
In a medium sized bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter until mixed well. Pour into prepared pan and press (with back of spoon or your fingers) evenly on bottom and about 1 in. up the sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator while you make the filling.
To make the filling:
In a large bowl (or bowl of your electric mixer) place the cream cheese, sugar and flour. Beat on medium speed until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the whipping cream, lemon zest and vanilla and beat until everything is incorporated. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and pour in the filling. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon or spatula and put in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees fahrenheit and continue to bake for another 60-90 minutes. I had to bake mine for another 65 minutes.
The cheesecake is done when only the center looks wet and wobbly and the sides are firm. As soon as you remove it from the oven, place on a wire rack and slide a knife around the edges. This will help loosen the cheesecake from the pan and prevent cracking. Let cool completely, about an hour. Then, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. Serve plain, with fruit, or drizzle with chocolate or fruit sauce. Enjoy!