This recipe from Betty Crocker. I have made it many times, and it is  no fail, provided one follows instructions.

2 8oz packages cream cheese plus 3 ounces, softened to room temp.

1 C sugar

1 1/4 C graham cracker crumbs; or vanilla wafer, or shortbread

3 T butter, melted

2 T sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 tsp lemon zest

3 eggs

My technique

Preheat oven to 350°.

First, make the crust. Crush your graham crackers, shortbread cookies, or vanilla wafers, and put in a large bowl. Add the 2 T sugar and blend well. Add melted butter, and blend with a fork or pastry blender. Evenly press crumb mixture into springform pan. Place in preheated oven, immediately reduce heat to 325°, bake for 10 minutes. Removed and cool completely on wire rack.

Using a stand mixer, I put in the softened cream cheese, and beat it on 2 for several minutes until it is creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Add the sugar slowly allowing it to blend with the cream cheese.

Add the vanilla.

Add the eggs, one at a time giving them a chance to fully incorporate before adding next one.

Add the lemon zest……..Side note: I used fresh lemon juice instead of lemon zest. One could use a combo. My result was barely noticeable lemon flavor. Some say the lemon zest (2 tsp) is too much.

Pour into cooled crust, and bake at 300° for 1 hour. Mine was done in 53 minutes as my springform pan is dark and non stick. Edges will brown slightly and time to come out. Center will jiggle slightly. I turn off heat, and open oven door to reduce cracking for 10 minutes…it will likely still crack; mine does.

Let cool and top with your favorite or just plain. I like canned cherry pie filling.

Note: this recipe is for a 9 inch springform pan. I used a 10 inch. The filling is a bit thinner, but still delicious.

King Arthur Flour Cheesecake

2 8 oz bricks of cream cheese, softened to room temp

2 eggs also room temp

1 1/2 C crushed graham crackers, or shortbread cookies, or vanilla wafers

1/3 C butter, melted

1/4 C powdered sugar

2/3 C granulated sugar

pinch salt

1 tsp vanilla

Coarsely crush the crumbs, and put in large bowl. Add powdered sugar, salt, and melted butter. Mix using a pastry blender or fork.

Press into 9″ pie plate. I used a 9″ springform pan, ungreased.

I cut cream cheese into smaller chunks into mixing bowl, and put in granulated sugar, vanilla, and eggs. I used a hand mixer and mixed until  smooth.

Pour and spread  in your pan evenly, and bake in preheated 350° for 28-30 minutes.

I placed mine on a sheet cake pan to avoid scorching.

When I removed it to wire rack to cool, I placed the hot sheet pan on top to aid in finishing the baking.

Cool to room temp, and refrigerate a couple hours before eating.

My favorite topping is cherry pie filling, but by all means top with whatever you like, if you top at all.

If using a springform pan, run a knife around the edge before releasing the springform outside.

I urge you to use the baking sheet. My crust leaked butter into the sheet pan. Without it, you will have the smell of burned butter.

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