Preparation: Grease, or spray with Pam, a 9 inch (23 cm) spring form pan. Place the spring form pan on a larger baking pan to catch any leakage while the cheesecake is baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) with rack in center of oven.
For Crust: In a medium sized bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Pour the crumbs in the center of the pan and spread out. First, press the crumbs evenly about 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Then press the crumbs evenly across the bottom of the pan.
Now, if you have problems with getting the right crust consistency, the test to see if you have the right amount of crumbs to melted butter is, once you have mixed the ingredients together, to squeeze some in your fist. If the crumbs hold together, you have the perfect crust. Once the crust is made and pressed into the tart pan, it is left to chill in the refrigerator. If you would prefer a firmer crust, instead of chilling you can bake the crust in a 350 degrees F (177 degree C) oven for about 10 minutes.
For Filling: In bowl of your electric mixer place the cream cheese, sugar, and flour. Beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes), scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (about 30 seconds) after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the whipping cream, lemon zest, vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and pour in the filling. wrap the outside of the cheesecake pan in aluminum foil. Boil water and place it in aroasting pan, about 1 inch deep. Place the cheesecake in the water bath. Place in the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) and continue to bake for about another 60 - 90 minutes or until firm and only the center of the cheesecake looks a little wet and wobbly. (The baking time can vary due to the differences in ovens, so make sure to check that the cheesecake is firm with only the center being a little wet and wobbly.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.
For Topping: In a small bowl combine the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Spread the topping over the warm cheesecake and return to oven to bake for 15 more minutes. Remove from oven and carefully run a knife or spatula around the inside edge of pan to loosen the cheesecake (helps prevent the surface from cracking as it cools).
Let cool completely before covering with plastic wrap. To help prevent cracking, refrigerate with the cheesecake still in the spring form pan. Refrigerate several hours, preferably overnight. Serve with fresh fruit or fruit sauces.
To freeze: Place the cooled cheesecake on a baking pan and freeze, uncovered, until firm. Then wrap in aluminum foil and place in a freezer bag. Seal and return to freezer. Can be frozen for several months. Thaw uncovered cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight.
Tips: In order to prevent cracks make sure you beat the ingredients at low speed as, unlike a butter cake, you do not want to incorporate a lot of air into the batter, you only want to beat the ingredients until they are nice and smooth. As far as the over baking of cheesecakes goes, this is a common problem as it is difficult to know when a cheesecake is done. The thing to remember is that you want the cheesecake to be firm but, if you shake the pan gently, it should still wobble a little, and the center will still look a little wet. For even though the center may not look fully baked, once it cools it will firm up and be the correct consistency. Cheesecakes are cakes that should not to be eaten straight away as they need to cool and then be refrigerated for several hours, preferably overnight, so the flavors have time to blend and the texture becomes nice and firm.
Also, make sure the spring form pan is well greased as cracking can occur if the cheesecake sticks to the sides as it cools.
Freezing cheesecakes: The great thing about cheesecake is that it stores very well and can also be frozen. To freeze, place the cooled cheesecake on a baking pan and freeze, uncovered, until firm. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, wrap it in heavy duty aluminum foil and place in a freezer bag. Seal and return to freezer. It can be frozen for several months. Thaw the uncovered cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight.
Gluten free crust:
1 1/2 cups quick oats, uncooked
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
For crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees; combine all ingredients, mix well. Firmly press onto bottom and sides of ungreased 9 inch springform pan about 1 1/2 inches high. Bake in oven for about 18 minutes or til golden brown; let cool.
View line-by-line Nutrition Insights™: Discover which ingredients contribute the calories/sodium/etc.
|Serving Size: 1 Serving (221g)|
|Recipe Makes: 12 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 389 (67%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 43.2g||58 %|
|Saturated Fat 23.4g||117 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 11.7g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 2.2g|
|Cholesterol 291.8mg||90 %|
|Sodium 407.4mg||14 %|
|Potassium 246mg||6 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 38.1g||11 %|
|Dietary Fiber 1.2g||5 %|
|Sugars, other 36.9g|
|Protein 11.6g||17 %|
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Disclaimer: Nutrition facts are derived from linked ingredients (shown at left in colored bullets) and may or may not be complete. Always consult a licensed nutritionist or doctor if you have a nutrition-related medical condition.
Calories per serving: 577
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