I truly believe that everyone should have a basic cheesecake recipe in their recipe box. The dense, rich cheesecake that gets baked in the oven, not that no bake stuff. Not that the no bake doesn’t taste good, it’s just that I prefer the authentic recipe.
There are several recipes out there, as well as several methods. Some methods include a water bath, this one does not. So print this puppy off, and tuck it away for when you need to take dessert somewhere and you want people to be “mmmmmm-ing” all through the dessert course.
Notes: This needs to sit in the fridge for at least four hours. It’s best made the morning of, or even better the night before. Also, when I say “Moist Oven,” I mean to put a cake pan or shallow dish full of water on the lower rack of the oven while preheating and baking the cheesecake.
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp butter, melted
4 pkg. cream cheese, softened. (if it’s right out of the fridge, unwrap and place in a microwave safe bowl, nuke for 30-45 seconds on half power. If needed, add more time)
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp flour
1 tbsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 325. (Moist oven) – Move top rack to middle position.
Mix crumbs, sugar and butter, press into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, flour and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing at low speed after each addition, just until blended. Blend in sour cream, pour over the crust.
Bake for an hour or so, but start checking after 50 minutes. The edges should look done, but the center should still wobble slightly when shaken. I like to shut off the oven about 5-10 minutes before it will be ready and crack the oven door slightly to allow to cool gently. This helps prevent cracking. If your cheesecake cracks, don’t feel bad. Almost everyones cracks. That’s what topping is for – to cover that up.
Run your knife around the outside of the cake, and once it has cooled to room temp, store it in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Allow your cheesecake to come back up to room temp before serving. The flavours are more prominent this way. Take it out of the fridge a good 1/2 hour to 45 minutes before serving.
As far as topping, that’s totally up to you. You can go the traditional route, with cherries or blueberries, just using regular old pie filling. If you choose to go this route, wait until shortly before you serve to add it, so it doesn’t make the top mushy. You can just cut it into slices and top with a chocolate or caramel sauce, or fruit coulis if that is your preference. You can cut up fresh fruit on the top and serve with a healthy dollop of whipped cream. That’s the beauty of a basic cheesecake recipe. You can change it up to make it your own.
And once you’ve got this under your belt, you can try the literally thousands of variations to suit the occasion, or just to suit your taste. Chocolate, pumpkin, swirled, different, fruit, different nuts….the possibilities are endless.
I’m excited to hear any ideas you may have to change this up and make it your own. Please feel free to add them in the comments.