I will take a better photo the next time I make this...because it is so pretty, this picture just doesn't do it justice.
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- graham crackers (3 cups)
- 1/2 c
- 1 stick
- melted butter
- 32 oz
- cream cheese (4-8oz blocks)
- 1 1/2 c
- 2 Tbsp
- 16 oz
- sour cream
- juice of lemon or orange or lime (optional) plus the zest
- 1/2 tsp
- vanilla bean scraped (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Wrap the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan tightly with foil to prevent moisture from the water bath (a roasting pan filled with warm water that goes approximately ½ up the height of your pan; this will help keep your cheesecake from getting cracks on top.) from seeping into your cheesecake.
In a food processor, mix the graham crackers, 1 stick melted butter, and ½ C sugar. Press the mixture into the bottom and halfway up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove it from the oven to cool completely. If you don’t have a food processor, crush the crackers with your hands, and put them in a plastic bag and roll over it with a rolling pin until it becomes fine crumbs.
In a food processor or with an electric mixer, mix all of the cream cheese, 1 ½ C sugar, and cornstarch until smooth. Add the sour cream, juice of one lemon/orange/or lime (optional) plus the zest of it, the vanilla and vanilla bean scraped (optional…the vanilla bean adds its pretty little black beans sprinkled throughout the cake) blend until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, blending until just combined. Special Note: It's important to blend well with no clumps as this will make the filling a smoother consistency when baked. This is helped by ensuring that all of your ingredients are at room temperature before starting! (It really does make a difference in the texture and consistency of the finished cake).