My nephew came to me last week and told me he'd been braggin about my cheesecake to his co-workers. He gave me ten bucks and said "Uncle Bob, will you make me one for next saturday, the biggest one you can?" Of course I couldn't say no. Last night I took my 1-1/2 times recipe and made him a ten-inch cheesecake. I took it out of a cold oven this morning and it was a thing of beauty. There were no cracks
on the top surface. I don't think I've ever achieved that before, though the cheesecake recipe I use produces a wonderful flavor and texture. And I'ma gonna tell ya how I did it. It was truly simple.
Three - 3/4 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
4 tbs. Sugar
9 tbs. unsalted Butter, melted
3 lbs. Cream Cheese
3/4 plus 3/8 cup sugar
4 medium egss
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 tbs. cornstarch
1 1/2 cups sour cream.
Prepare room in the freezer for a 10 inch springform pan.
Preheat the oven to 450 F.
Combine the crust ingrediants. Stir until all of the graahm cracker crumbs are moist with the melted butter. Pour into the springform pan and press into an even-thin layer on the bottom and half way up the sides. Place in the freezer (or if you live where I live, set out on the porch :D ).
Next, soften the cream cheese byu placing in a very large microwave safe bowl. Heat on high for one minute. Add the remaining ingrediants and stir with a wire ballon whisk until velvety smooth.
Remove the crust from the freezer and pour the filling mixture into the crust. Smooth with a rubber spatula until even and beautiful. Place into the preheated oven and cook for ten minutes. Reduce to 190 and cook for an additional hour. Turn off the oven and let cool in the oven until room temperature. I just made mine late at night and left in the oven until morning.
I opened the oven and the cheesecake was perfect, no cracks, no blemishes, no burnt crust edges. I think I'm gonna get more requests for this one from the people where my nephew works. I told him, and truthfully, that a cheesecake of that quality and size sells for $30. The ingrediants alone cost $15 if you use Philadelphia Cream Cheese. I used the generic cream cheese and got away with $10 in ingrediant costs. Add to that the know-how, and time, labor, and energy costs and $30 seems almost cheep.
In any case, I din't use a water bath, didn't fuss with exotic techniques to keep the filling from cracking. I just cooked it ten degrees below what the recipe calls for (the larger cheesecake requires more baking time and can burn the crust if cooke at 200 degrees. I learned that from experiance.), and cooling more slowly. The original recipe said to open the oven door and let the cheesecake cool to room temperature to avoid cracking. Again, with this larger cheesecake, the outside will cool too rapidly compared to the inner filling and the resultant uneven shrinkage will cause the filling surface to crack, just like what happens to glass when it is forced to undergo rapid temperature change. It's that whole rate of expansion thing.
In any case, you can easily duplicate my results. I'm telling you that this thing was too pretty to put a topping over. It's my first to come out this nicely. And I'm braggin'
Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North