The Perfect Cheesecake

View photos and entire recipe article HERE
Recipe by South Your Mouth

The Perfect Cheesecake

Gingersnap crust:

2 cups gingersnap crumbs

1/4 cup sugar

4 tablespoons butter, melted

Cheesecake filling:

4 8-oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature

Juice of one lemon

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

6 eggs

2 1/4 cups sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 pint heavy whipping cream

Make the gingersnap crust:

Break gingersnaps by hand then add to a food processor. Pulse broken cookies into crumbs and until no chunks remain. I used about a half of an 18-oz. bag to yield 2 cups. Combine gingersnap crumbs and sugar in a medium-size bowl then add melted butter; mix well.

Press crumb mixture on the bottom and about an inch and a half up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. I use a heavy drinking glass to do this.

For a harder crust, bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes then cool crust completely. I don’t usually do this as I think the crust is just fine without baking it – it’s entirely up to you and what you like.

Make the cheesecake filling:

Beat cream cheese, lemon juice and vanilla in a large bowl or stand mixer at medium speed until smooth and creamy (use the whisk attachment if using a stand mixer).

Add eggs, one at a time and continue mixing until well combined. Scrape down sides of the bowl.

Add sugar and flour and continue mixing at low speed for five minutes, scraping down sides of bowl periodically as needed. Add whipping cream and mix just until filling is smooth and creamy. Pour filling into prepared crust.

Prepare water bath and bake the cheesecake:

Set oven rack to the middle position in your oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Set 4 cups of water to boil in the microwave.

photo of water bath from Food Network

Select a baking pan large enough to set your springform pan in. Place a large piece of aluminum foil in the baking pan. Set the springform pan on the aluminum foil then bring the aluminum foil up around the bottom of the pan (at least one inch). Crimp the foil in such a way as to create a watertight “shell” around the bottom of the springform pan (this is to ensure no water gets into the bottom of your springform pan).

Place baking pan (with springform pan) in oven. Pour enough boiling water into baking pan to come about halfway up the sides of the springform pan (but not higher than the aluminum foil surrounding it).

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Turn oven off and leave cheesecake to continue cooking in the residual heat of the oven for 30-45 minutes longer. Cheesecake is done when it is mostly set and only a small circle in the center jiggles slightly – the center will firm up during the cooling process.

Remove cheesecake from oven and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil (or place in an airtight container) and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

Serve plain or with chocolate sauce, cherry pie filling, lemon curd, fresh fruit or whatever else suits your fancy. I was fancying some cherries so that’s what I used!