Classic Cheesecake

We think this has the ideal consistency and tangy flavor.

Makes one 9- or 10-inch cheesecake, about 16 servings

  • 11/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon nonfat dry milk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese
  • 11/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together

  • 11/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon nonfat dry milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Cut in

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter

Separately, whisk together

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon water

Stir the liquid into the dry ingredients. The dough should be crumbly but hold together when squeezed.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Press the dough into the bottom and about 1/2-inch up the side of a 9- or 10-inch spring form pan. (Yes, that’s not an error – the crust goes a little bit up the side of the cake.) Use a piece of plastic wrap to cover the dough while pressing it in place. Remove plastic, prick the crust all over and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.

Using an electric mixer, beat   on slow speed

  • 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese

until soft and no lumps remain. Stop to scrape down the bowl a couple of times during the process. Do this at a slow speed so you don’t incorporate air into the mixture. Add

  • 11/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

and mix until well blended. Add, one at a time

  • 4 large eggs

Make sure the mixture is smooth before adding each egg. Also, remember to scrape the bottom of the bowl between adding each egg. Stir in

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Stir just until the mixture is smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 325° for 45 to 50 minutes. The edges of the cake will look set and be a light golden brown and the middle should still jiggle when you nudge the pan. The internal temperature when measured an inch from the center should be 165° or higher. Turn the oven off, open the door slightly and let the cheesecake cool slowly in the oven for an hour. During this time the center will finish setting. Cooling the cake slowly will keep the top from cracking and ensure an even, smooth texture inside.

After an hour, remove the cake from the oven and run a knife around the edge to allow the cake to contract as it cools. Refrigerate overnight before serving. Top with fruit or whipped cream, if desired.

Adapted from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion

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