Friday, February 6, 2009

"It's a cross between ice cream and cheesecake"

says the husband as he takes the first bite. Do you NEED any more encouragement to make this cheesecake? Rich, yummy, and easy. I'm not loving the graham cracker crust though. I think I'm just going to use the Oreo crust from now on. That crust, I'm loving. I'm also undecided on the water bath. Everyone who's anyone in the world of cheesecakes uses a water bath. But the water bath seems to lengthen cooking time by about 15 minutes, and the top of the cheesecake almost seems dryer because of that. I may just be imagining things though, because I'm trying to rationalize not using a water bath, because I'm a lazy, lazy girl.

My camera doesn't think it can focus when I want pretend you can see all the vanilla bean flecks in this picture. Or just click on it to see a larger version.

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
Source: The Cheesecake Bible by George Geary, p 57.

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

4 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of cheesecake pan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

In a mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until very smooth, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in vanilla bean paste and lemon juice.

Pour over crust, smoothing out to sides of pan. Bake in water bath until top is light brown and center has a slight jiggle to it, 45 to 55 minutes. Crack oven and allow to cool for 1 hour. Cool for an additional hour before refrigerating for 6 hours.


Em said...

It looks yummy! Have you ever tried a Nilla Wafer crust? Those are pretty darn amazing.

Anonymous said...

Interesting.. Looks like you changed the way to bake my cheesecake with cracking the oven for an hour after the baking. If you read the entire into I explain why no water bath and also how to bake a cheesecake without all of the strange ways (I have see everything from turning oven on to 500‘F and then turning oven off. My focus on this and my first cheesecake book is to get people into the kitchen and when they see strange ways that do not help in the factor of baking (thus 1 hr with oven door open and water baths) they tend not to bake.
Check out my personal website and all of my books at
Also.. very important with cheesecakes is to use a cheesecake pan and not a springform.

nital said...

Admittedly, I do use a springform pan and think evil thoughts to it while cleaning, but I honestly haven't really had major problems with removing the cheesecake or leakage. A cheesecake pan sounds easier, but without the locking mechanism, I can't help but wonder if it's more prone to leaking than a springform pan.

I apparently need to reread the intro though, because I honestly don't recall what you said about water baths. I don't remember seeing it mentioned, and just assumed that you used one. As you can tell, I pretty much keep doing everything that people say helps prevents cracks, so I will admit that I don't know what steps are necessary or not. I probably will start trying narrow it down, but as blasphemous as this sounds, I'm a little cheesecaked out. I've had cheesecake more days than not for the past 3 months. :)