Ingredients for Crust
12 whole graham cracker rectangles (6 ounces) 5 TBS butter Pat of butter to grease pan
Ingredients for Cheese Cake
2 pounds cream cheese 1 C Sugar 1 TBS cornstarch or 2 TBS all-purpose flour (optional) 1/8 tsp salt 1/2 C sour cream 2 tsp lemon juice (optional) 1 tsp vanilla extract 3 large eggs 1 large egg yolk
9 or 10 inch spring form pan Try the Lekue silicone spring form! A large roaster or baking dish for the water bath.
Remove the cream cheese from the frig and set on the counter to warm while you make the crust.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.. move the rack to the lowest position.
Rub the sides and bottom of the pan with a pat of butter. Wrap the pan in foil by placing two large pieces of foil on the counter in a cross. Set the spring from in the center; fold the edges of the foil up around the sides of the pan (for the water bath step).
Crush the graham crackers in a food processor (a bag and rolling pin will do) until you have fine crumbs ( 1 1/2 to 2 C). Melt 5 Tbs butter in the microwave and mix into the crumbs blending thoroughly. Add water by the TBS if needed to create a mixture that holds together. Transfer to spring from and press evenly in place with the bottom of a glass. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until crust is starting to brown on the edges. Set aside to cool on a rack.
Mix the warmed cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch and salt with a mixer at med-low speed until the mixture is creamy, Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beaters with a spatula.
Mix in the sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla beating a med-low speed until creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and beaters.
One at a time mix in the eggs and the yolk at med-low speed. Mixture will look crumbly at first but will blend as the eggs are mixed in. Scrape the bowl and beaters. Remove the beaters and stir the mixture by hand making sure that all ingredients are incorporated. Mixture will be thick, creamy and silky. Pour the batter over the cooled crust (must be cool enough to comfortably touch) and smooth evenly.
Bring 2 or 3 cups of water to a boil. Place the foil wrapped spring form into the roaster and pour boiling water around it until the water is just below the top edge of foil.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes. NOTE: 10 inch pans will bake in 50 to 55 minutes, 9 inch pans will bake in 55 to 60 minutes. The cheese is done when the outer two to three inches look slightly puffed and set, but the inner circle is still moist. There should be no cracks.
Run a knife around the edge of the cake: leave in the oven in the water bath for about an hour. Remove the cheese cake from the water bath and and place on a cooling rack. Again, run a knife around the edge of the pan (cake sticking to the edges will cause cracks). Cool completely, then place in the frig to chill.
Remove from frig about 30 min before serving; remove spring form. Top the cake just before serving:
Mixed Berry Sauce
2 Cup fresh or frozen mixed berries 1/3 C granulated sugar 1 TBS lemon juice (you may use up to 1/2 of a lemon) 1 TBS cornstarch
Combine the berries, sugar and lemon juice saucepan over med heat. Stir occasionally breaking down some of the larger berries with a spoon. Simmer until berries are slightly soft and juice begins to form. Add cornstarch and quickly stir. Turn up the heat stirring constantly until sauce reaches desired thickness. Will store in frig up to one week.
Options..crust may be made with any crushed cookie including gluten free gingersnaps, chocolate wafers, butter cookies. etc.
Left over cheese cake may be stored in the frig for several days.
Grandma’s Cheese Cake from James Goings, Jr.