One’s too rich. One’s too dense. One’s too creamy. This one?... Just right! This recipe is a combination of a nutty, buttery crust and a creamy, fluffy, rich (but no too rich) filling. Top with berries, dollop with chocolate, or keep it plain and simple. In the accented words of my German gramps in reference to anything he ever made, “It’s the best one I ever made!”
For the crust:
2 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup butter (melted)
½ cup sugar
½ cup walnuts (toasted and ground) *Omit for allergies
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
For the filling:
16 ounces cream cheese (2 packs)
16 ounces sour cream
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
Boiling water to bake
Topping Ideas: Raspberries and blueberries, lemon-blueberry compote, drizzle of nutella or caramel, or plain and simple
1. For the crust, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 10-inch spring form pan with cooking spray or butter and wrap pan bottom and sides with 2-layers of foil. (This will prevent the water bath from seeping into the crust during baking).
2. Mix graham crackers, sugar, cinnamon, walnuts, and salt with melted butter. Poor into pan and using the bottom of a smooth glass, push the crust up the sides and press into pan. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Remove crust from oven and cool completely.
3. For the filling, beat cream cheese with a mixer until fluffy. Add sour cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and lemon and beat until well combined, but do not over-mix.
4. Set cooled crust in a large roasting pan. Pour filling into crust and place the roasting pan with the cake in the oven. Poor boiling water around into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the spring form pan sides. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the cheesecake is set but a bit wobbly in the center. When finished, remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes. Remove from roasting pan and chill for about 7 hours before unmolding and topping. Serve it up…and I hope it’s the best one YOU ever made! J