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New York(ish) Cheesecake

My mom used to make an excellent no-bake cheesecake that I loved as a kid but as an adult, it's too sweet. So I set out to create my own. This recipe ended up somewhere between a New York style cheesecake with a subtle nod to my mother’s no-bake version.

I use a water bath or bain marie technique to ensure an even bake with creamy, smooth texture and to prevent cracking on top. If you do not have a roasting pan or something to hold your cake pan and water, you may skip this step. Your final product will still taste amazing, but might not look as seamless.

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Yield

9" round cake

Time

About 2 hours total (45 minutes active)

Ingredients

500gcream cheese200gsugar150ggraham crackers80gsour cream40gmelted butter12gvanilla 12glemon juice3eggs2gsalt

Instructions

1Prep

First, prep your 9" pan. Cut a parchment paper circle as big as the bottom of your spring-form cake pan and place it on the bottom of your pan. Next, brush the sides and parchment paper with either neutral oil or some melted butter. Set aside.

Pre-heat your oven to 325°F/160°C

2Crust
150ggraham crackers40gmelted butter2gsalt

First, make sure your butter is melted.

Make your cake crust by combining your graham crackers, butter, and salt together until it has the consistency of sand.

Firmly press your graham cracker mixture into the bottom and about half-way up the sides of the pan.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until a deep golden brown. Once your crust is baked, remove it from the oven to cool.

3Filling
Make sure there are no clumps in your batter. If there are, manually whisk until gone or continue to mix with standing mixer until smooth.
500gcream cheese200gsugar80gsour cream12gvanilla12glemon juice3eggs

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cream cheese and sour cream on medium speed with the paddle attachment. Beat for 5 minutes or until completely combined and no clumps remain.

Scrape down the bowl and add sugar, continuing to mix on medium speed until evenly combined.

Scrape the bowl again before adding eggs one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated before adding the next.

Add lemon and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated.

Set aside.

4Water Bath

Wrap cake pan in aluminum foil so that no water can get in. I usually like to make a cross with two pieces of foil, setting my pan in the middle and wrapping the foil around the bottom and up the sides.

Place your cake pan into a roasting pan and pour the cheese filling into the cake pan. If you have air bubbles, you can use the back of a fork to gently tap the top of the cake and release excess air.

Add 1-2 inches of boiling water to the roasting pan, but be sure to avoid getting any water in your cake.

5Bake

Carefully move the roasting pan into the oven. Bake at 325°F/160°C for about 1 hour. Check on your cake after 1 hour. If you have a thermometer, check internal temperature. To set correctly, your cheesecake needs to reach 145°F/60°C.

If you do not have a thermometer, gently jiggle the pan. You’ll know the cake is done when only about a 3 inch radius from the center jiggles.

If you prefer a more-baked cheesecake, allow to cook until internal temperature reaches 165°F or you begin to see a light golden brown on the cake top.

6Set

Allow the cake to rest at room temp for 30 minutes and then transfer to a fridge for another hour to set the cake fully before serving.

For the best flavor, chill overnight and serve next day.