So began my search for the ultimate plain cheesecake, which is probably oxymoronic. I settled for this recipe from AllYou that claims to be near identical to what they offer at the Cheesecake factory. Although I'll never know how close this is to the factory favourite because given the choice of dozens of sinful creations they sell, the last one I would ever choose to end my dinner with would be plain.
The baking time in the recipe was too long and I ended up with a slightly burnt cheesecake that made my cake look like a giant 'Pastel de nata'. Maybe I should have just called this Cheesecake brulee and pretended it was on purpose. I have reduced the baking time in the recipe below and made a few alterations.
Yield: 1 9"cake, ~16 slices
- 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup melted margarine
- 3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup sour cream (I used plain yogurt instead)
- 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 475°F. Place a large pan (The type you cook your turkey in works well) filled with 1/2 inch water in oven.
- Make crust: Mix graham cracker crumbs and cinnamon, then melted margarine. Press crust onto bottom and 1/2 of the way up a 9" springform pan lined with parchment paper. Wrap a large piece of foil around bottom of pan and freeze.
- Make filling: Using a mixer, blend cream cheese, sugar, sour cream and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl; add to cream cheese mixture. Blend just until eggs are mixed in.
- Remove crust from freezer and pour in filling. Carefully place cheesecake into preheated water bath. Bake for 12 minutes; then reduce temperature to 350°F and bake until top of cheesecake turns golden, 40-50 minutes.
- Remove cake to a wire rack to cool.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. (I didn't have time so it probably got 1 hour in the fridge and 15min in the freezer. It was much much better the next day after getting more fridge time)