2 1/2 bars of cream cheese (20 oz.) left out at room temperature to let soften
1 1/2 cups of granulated (white) sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
In a mixing bowl (with a paddle attachment if you have a stand
mixture), mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until
it's combined and creamy looking. Next add the eggs one at a
time. Make sure the first egg is incorporated before adding the
next one. Then add the cornstarch and cream, and mix it
together until the cream is mostly worked in. Then turn the
speed to high and beat for several minutes until the mixture is
nice and fluffy. Last, add the lemon juice and zest, and mix until
it's just combined. Scrape the filling into the cooled crust.
Now comes the part that weirds people out but doesn't need to.
The water bath. It helps keep the cheesecake moist and from
cracking. Get your big roasting pan from your Thanksgiving
turkey or just get a big casserole dish. Set your springform pan
inside, and carefully pour hot water into the pan until it's about
halfway up the sides. I say carefully because you don't want it to
splash into the cheesecake... like I did the first time. Now
carefully slide the pan into the 325 oven for about an hour.
Here comes another tricky part. How to know when a
cheesecake is done. It's different than most baked goods in that
it should be jiggly. Really jiggly. It'll firm up as it cools down and
chills in the fridge, so don't be afraid to pull it out of the oven
before you think you're supposed to. Here's a tip I read
somewhere. A good definition of jiggly is that it should jiggle
like Jello, not wave like water.
So once the cheesecake is jiggly like Jello, turn off the oven, and leave the pan inside with the
door open for about 15 minutes. Then pull it out, and let it cool for awhile. After an hour or
so, take the cheesecake out of the water and set it on a towel to dry the bottom a bit.
Carefully remove the foil, and then cover the top with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge
overnight or for at least four hours.
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