At the first suggestion that I might play around with my new cheesecake recipe, one sister said “No” in a tone of voice that brooked no arguments. From anyone.
At the second suggestion (who am I to listen to my big sister all the time?), my dad said “it’s perfect as it is”. Now, since my dad has never told me I made any food perfectly in my life, I just might go to my grave without ever changing one milligram of an ingredient. I’m wishing I had temped the ingredients and written down the relative humidity the day that I baked the damn thing, because now I’m worried I’ll never recreate The Most Perfectest Cheesecake Ever. What happens if I can only make it in the winter, when the temperature and humidity are both below 70? That’s only, like, 2 months of the year around here! I could die if I don’t have cheesecake before then, and then where would my family be? They’d be left with just a memory, that’s what. Well, and the recipe so they can make it themselves. Maybe this cooking blog was a better idea than I realized.
Anyway, perfection comes with a price. In this case, that price is your general health. Since, I’ll be the first to sacrifice my health and longevity for a piece of cheesecake, don’t feel tempted to eat any yourself – I can take care of the whole thing. You and your arteries are welcome.
The morning after Christmas, the grocery section at Wal-Mart was out of anything but the full-fat cream cheese. Ditto on sour cream. I haven’t calculated the fat grams, and if you do, keep it to yourself, because those numbers are not welcome here.
As for the first ingredient: that is most assuredly NOT a typo. There are FORTY ounces – yes, FORTY (sorry, I can’t say that without yelling) ounces of cream cheese in this sucker.
The Most Perfectest Cheesecake Ever, (stolen shamelessly from Recipezaar’s Bird- I added a crust, but that’s it, see the notes below for my nervousness while cooking).
- 2 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs and/or vanilla wafer crumbs (I used a combo this time)
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 40 ( FORTY) oz cream cheese (5 8oz blocks), softened
- 1 ½ cups sugar (no Splenda this time, I went for broke)
- 16 oz sour cream
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
Preheat your oven to 375. The directions say to line the bottom of your spring form pan, but I made a crust and didn’t do that.
Lightly spray the bottom & sides of a 10” spring form pan with non stick butter-flavored spray.
Mix crumbs and sugar together in the pan. Make a well in the center and pour in melted butter.
Use a fork to toss and combine. Use a piece of wax paper to press the mixture onto the bottom and about one half inch up the sides of the pan.
Bake for 5 minutes – it will not be completely done. Put it in the freezer while you mix up the batter.
Now it gets serious.
I whipped up one block of cream cheese in my stand mixer, then added some sugar and whipped for a minute. Then I alternated the cream cheese and sugar until all of both were added, ending with sugar. I don’t know if it made a difference (the alternate choice being to dump in all the cream cheese and sugar at once), but dude – I’m not taking any chances of doing this differently. Scrape down the sides of the pan constantly while you’re mixing.
Add the sour cream and mix until thoroughly combined. Scrape down the sides while you’re mixing.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Scrape down the sides while you’re mixing.
Add lemon juice, vanilla and salt. Scrape down the…you got it now, right?
Pour the batter into the spring form pan and lightly drop it a half inch or so on the counter to force up the air bubbles. Do this about 10 times, turning slightly between each “drop”.
Place the cheesecake in a pan large enough to use as a hot water bath. Put the pan in the oven, and pour enough water in the pan to come up about an inch.
Bake for 30 minutes at 375, then reduce the temperature to 250 and bake for 2 (yes, TWO) more hours. Do not open the oven to check on it!
Remove from the oven and cool for about 45 minutes.
Put the cheesecake in the fridge and refrigerate for at least for hours, or overnight.
This sucker needs no topping, but if you must, I can’t stop you!
This is not a cheesecake to be made on a whim. I barely planned ahead, and I had just enough time to squeeze this out and get it in the fridge 4 hours before dinner. I’ll plan on making it a day ahead next time, or at least first thing in the morning.
When I took the cheesecake out of the oven, it was still pretty jiggly in the center. I was worried it would run all over the place, but it set up beautifully in the fridge.
Despite the fact that it has a whopping FORTY ounces of cream cheese, this was absolutely the lightest, fluffiest cheesecake I have ever made. I can’t explain, I can’t tell you why. Fools give you reasons, wise men never try. Or something like that. Wait, that song was about love, not cheesecake? Well, I say cheesecake IS love.