It's easier than you think! The key is room temperature ingredients, not over beating and a low temperature oven. The biggest mishap is over baking. Hence, the grand canyon in the center of your cheesecake. I goofed and forgot to get pictures of the mixing of the filling. Guess I was too eager to get that cake made! Anyway, you get the idea of how easy it is.
Classic New York Cheesecake
1 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs (about 15 or so squares)
3 Tbsp. sugar
4 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
5 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 cup Sour Cream
4 eggs, room temperature
9 inch springform pan
heavy duty foil
MIX crumbs, 3 Tbsp. sugar and butter; press firmly onto bottom of buttered and parchment lined 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 325°F for 8 minutes. (Bake at 300°F for 8 minutes if using dark nonstick springform pan.)
MIX cream cheese on low until smooth and lumps are gone. Slowly add 1 cup sugar, flour and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream, mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Do not over mix! Pour over crust.
Wrap two layers of heavy duty foil around bottom half of pan. Place in a roasting pan at least 2 inches deep. Pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up springform pan. Place on center rack of oven.
BAKE at 325°F for 1 hour 10 minutes or until center is almost set if using silver springform pan. (Bake at 300°F for 1 hour 10 minutes or until center is almost set if using dark nonstick springform pan.) Run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim of pan. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Top with pie filling before serving if desired.
Remove ring and trace inner part of ring onto paper. Cut out circle. Replace ring and place circle in bottom of buttered pan. Cut out two strips 4 inches wide by inches long. Place each strip along inside of ring smoothing out wrinkles. Use butter to seal edges together.
To make crumbs: Break up grahams into a 1 gallon ziplock bag. Using a rolling pin or soup can roll and crumble crumbs until fine. Or if you prefer use a food processor. I think the bag is easier. No clean up!
Mix crumbs, sugar and butter. Toss until moist.
Check by pressing crumbs to side of bowl. If they hold shape Perfect! If too dry add a bit more butter.
Press crumbs firmly into bottom of pan using the bottom of a measuring cup or glass.
Add enough boiling water to come halfway up side of springform pan. Place on center rack of oven.
Cake is done when center 3 inches still jiggle a bit and internal temperature is around 150 degrees F.
Remove outer ring of pan. Using a flat spreader carefully loosen under the crust to remove from bottom of pan. Place on a cake disk or platter. Remove parchment strips.