Creamy Cheesecake

This recipe is from Fine Cooking.  I love Fine Cooking.  The website has great recipes, but the magazine is so worth having.  The articles are interesting, the recipes have never disappointed me, the photos are beautiful, and they always include fun home and kitchen finds that I end up pining after.  The only complaint I have is that I only get an issue once every 2 months.  Here is the link to the recipe.

Cheesecake can be so incredibly delicious.  It can also be totally overdone.  For example, there is a cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory that mixes together cheesecake and pieces of carrot cake, slathers the top in cream cheese icing and tops it all off with candied almonds.  No, thanks Cheesecake Factory!

I like my cheesecake pure and unadulterated.  Buttery graham cracker crust filled with luscious creamy filling.  No chocolate, no caramel, no fake fruity sauces, just cheesecake.  I don’t mind fresh berries sitting on the side of the plate with a sprig of mint, but don’t mess with my cheesecake.  Keep it simple.

This cheesecake is very good.  The graham cracker crust is just right, not too thick and not too thin.  The filling is incredibly creamy.  The sour cream and lemon add a great tangy-ness and it isn’t overly sweet.  I might have under-baked it a bit.  The very center of the cake was on the verge of gooey, but turned out to be OK.  I blame this on the recipe, though.  After the cake bakes for 45 minutes, you turn off the oven and let it sit for an hour without opening the oven.  So, I didn’t have a chance to check on it!  It wasn’t my fault!

Overall, very tasty cheesecake and something I will make again.  Next time I will bake it for 50-55 minutes.  Other than that there are no changes that I would make.  Enjoy!

Creamy Cheesecake (Courtesy of Fine Cooking)


For the graham cracker crust:

  • About 11 double graham crackers, broken into pieces (or 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs )
  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 1 lb. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 3 cups sour cream


  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8 x 2-1/2-inch or higher springform pan.
  2. Make the crust: In a food processor, process the graham crackers and sugar until the cookies are fine crumbs, about 20 seconds. Add the melted butter and pulse about 10 times just until incorporated. (Alternatively, seal the cookies in a heavy-duty plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them into fine crumbs. Transfer to a bowl, add the sugar, and toss with a fork to blend. Stir in the melted butter and toss to incorporate.)
  3. Using your fingers or the back of a spoon, press the mixture into the base of the prepared pan and partway up the sides. Use a flat-bottomed, straight-sided glass to smooth the crumbs over the bottom and farther up the sides (but not all the way to the top). Be sure to press the bottom thoroughly so that the crumbs are evenly distributed. Lay plastic wrap over the crumbs to keep them from sticking to your fingers, and use your fingers to continue pressing the crust to a thin, even layer. Wrap the outside of the pan with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil to prevent leaking. Cover the crust with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
  4. Make the filling:  In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar until very smooth, about 3 min., scraping the bowl and beaters as needed. Beat in the egg yolks, beating until the batter is smooth and scraping down the sides as necessary. Add the lemon juice, vanilla, and salt and beat until incorporated. Beat in the sour cream just until blended.
  5. Bake the cheesecake:  Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Set the pan in a larger pan (a 12 x 2-inch cake pan or a roasting pan) and surround it with 1 inch of very hot water. Check that the oven is at 350°F and bake the cake for 45 min. Turn off the oven without opening the door and let the cake cool for 1 hour. Transfer the cheesecake to a rack (the center will still be jiggly) and cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  6. Un-mold and slice the cheesecake: (I did not do this, I just unmolded and sliced on the springform base.)
  7. Be sure the cheesecake is thoroughly chilled. Have ready a serving plate and another flat plate that’s at least as wide as the springform and covered in plastic wrap. Wipe a hot, damp cloth around the outside of the ring (or use a hair dryer). Run a metal spatula or a thin knife inside the ring. Release and gently loosen the ring and then lift it off. Set the plate with the plastic wrap on top of the cheesecake and carefully invert the pan. Heat the base of the springform with a hot, damp cloth or hair dryer and lift it off. Set the serving plate lightly on the bottom of the cheesecake (which is now facing up) and reinvert the cake. Lift off the plastic-wrapped plate.
  8. To cut neat slices, use a sharp, thin-bladed knife dipped in hot water (shake off excess drops) between each slice.