I feel personally victimized by cheesecake. It knew I was nervous to make one for the first time. In all fairness, I listened to my sweet husband who hasn’t cooked a single meal since we got married 2 years ago. Let me set the stage… ugh, so stupid.
Okay, so I made a big batch of pho for dinner because we were both feeling crummy. Well he wasn’t full off of it and about an hour later as my beautiful cheesecake is baking, Zach starts to say he’s starving. He starts asking when the cheesecake will be ready. So here is where I get stupid… I know that the recipe says to cool it in the oven, and then to chill further in the fridge. This is a long process. I’m an educated, professionally trained chef. Then Zach says, “I love warm cheesecake.” And in my head, I have a mini-argument with myself. I know what the recipe said, I read it multiple times. But Zach went to West Point for a couple years and his family lived in New York, he’s spent time in the city with all the real Italians that make the world’s best cheesecake… maybe it could be served warm.
I popped the spring form pan and the cheesecake immediately split and there was no going back. And then I had a huge meltdown and the whole night was shot to hell. Thank goodness for wine y’all. Zach is still laughing, asking why I’d listen to him. The next try went much better because I didn’t make dumb choices.
- Don’t make dumb choices. Cool it completely before popping that spring form.
- Spring forms are made by Satan. Why would anyone make a pan that has to go in a water bath THAT DOES NOT SEAL?! You’re going to have to coat it with foil (on the outside of the pan) because water will find its way in.
- Pro Tip: Crock Pot bag it around the outside.
Also a big thank you to Diane, my next door neighbor, who shared her cheesecake recipe with me and allowed me to tweak here and there.
For the Crust
- 1 package of graham crackers, crushed fine
- ¼ cup walnuts, crushed fine
- ½ stick butter, melted
For the Filling
- 4, 8oz packages of cream cheese
- ¼ lb sweet butter, softened like leave it out all night soft
- 16 oz sour cream
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp limoncello
- zest of one lemon, tossed in ½ tsp limoncello
- 5 eggs
- 1½ cups sugar
- KitchenAid or mixer
- large bowl
- greased spring form pan
- rubber spatula
- 9×13 pan or large oven safe dish for water bath
- measuring cups and spoons
- tin foil
- Mise en place all of your ingredients and set your oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix all the crust ingredients and press into greased spring form pan to form a shell for your cheesecake
- In you mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and cream cheese. Once it is smooth, add in the sour cream.
- Add in the limoncello, vanilla, lemon zest, and cornstarch.
- Add in the eggs one at a time.
- Pour into the spring form pan and place in a water bath. The water in the bath should not come up to the halfway point of your spring form.
- Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until it is firm with the slightest jiggle. (Something I aspire to personally).
- Turn off the oven and leave it in the oven to cool down.
- Garnish wish a powdered sugar dusting and thin lemon slices or a fruit coulis.