Delicious Creamy Cheesecake
- Preparation time: 10 minutes
- Baking time: 55 minutes
- Cooling time: 2 hours
- Chilling time: 8 hours
- One 9-inch springform pan
Graham Cracker Crust:
- 1¾ cups very fine graham cracker crumbs (about 29 squares)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 10 tablespoons butter (1 stick + 2 tablespoons), melted
Cream Cheese, Sugar, Salt, and Vanilla:
- 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 eggs, room temperature well-beaten
- 3 cups sour cream, room temperature
Optional Strawberry Sauce Topping:
Plan to make your cheesecake one day in advance of serving.
- Let the cream cheese stand at room temperature at least 1 to 1½ hours before making the cheesecake. This will prevent lumps in the cheesecake batter.
- Eggs and sour cream should be at room temperature before mixing.
- Position the oven rack in the center of the oven.
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Finely grind graham crackers. The finer they are ground the easier it will be to mix them with the sugar and butter and then press into the pan.
- You can grind the crumbs by placing them in a ziploc plastic bag and then rolling them with a rolling pin, or, by processing them in a food processor.
- Place the graham cracker crumbs in a medium-sized bowl.
- Add the sugar and whisk together.
- Pour melted butter over the crumbs and using a spatula or large spoon mix well.
- Press the graham cracker mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of 9-inch springform pan. Try to get the crust as high up on the sides as you can.
- Set the graham cracker crust aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla until just smooth; do not over beat.
- Add the well-beaten eggs to the cream cheese mixture, beating on low speed until combined.
- Stir in the sour cream.
- Turn cream cheese mixture into the prepared graham cracker crust.
- Note: Springform pans tend to leak. To prevent a mess in the oven place the 9-inch springform pan inside of a 10 to 12-inch round cake pan, or use a round pizza pan. The outer pan will catch any leaks.
- Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. To avoid cracks bake until just barely set as the cheesecake will continue to set up while cooling.
- Run a thin bladed knife or metal spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake from the edges. This will allow the cake to contract away from the sides as it cools and prevent cracking.
- Place the springform pan on a wire rack to cool.
- Cool completely on the wire rack.
- Leave the cooled cheesecake in the springform pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.
- To remove chilled cheesecake from springform pan, slide a knife around the side of the pan to loosen the cake. Open the clamp on the side of the pan to expand the sides of the pan and release the sides from the bottom. Carefully slip the tip of a sharp knife or metal spatula between the crust and pan bottom, slip the cake off the pan bottom and onto a serving plate.
- Serve cheesecake plain with fresh fruit or pour the optional Strawberry Sauce over the cheesecake.
- If making the optional Strawberry Sauce begin preparing it at least 1 hour before serving. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature before pouring over the cheesecake.
- Refrigerate unused portions.