- 7” Springform pan
- Hand or stand mixer
- Parchment paper
- ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs (about 5 crackers)
- 3 Tb. unsalted butter, barely melted + extra to grease pan
- 1 tsp. sugar
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Crush graham crackers in blender, food processer, or in Ziploc with rolling pin.
- Add butter and sugar, toss until well combined.
- Grease springform pan with butter.
- Line bottom of pan with cut-out circle of parchment paper, grease the top of that paper.
- Dump crumb mixture into the pan and use your fingers to press crumbs evenly/firmly into the bottom and half the way up the sides of the pan. Use the bottom of a flat-bottomed glass to pack the crumbs in and level it off.
- Blind bake crust for 12 minutes (using baking beans or dry beans on top of parchment paper).
- Cool crust in fridge after it comes out of oven.
- Increase temperature of oven to 325°F.
- 2 8-oz packages cream cheese
- ½ c. granulated sugar
- ¼ c. crème fraiche (or sour cream)
- 1 T. lemon juice (preferably from Meyer lemons)
- 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- Let cream cheese, eggs, and crème fraiche come to room temperature.
- In a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer (or using a stand mixer), cream the blocks of cream cheese until softened.
- Add sugar and mix on a medium speed until smooth.
- Add crème fraiche, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Blend on medium-low until combined.
- Add in eggs one at a time and mix until just combined. DO NOT OVERWORK THE BATTER.
- Wrap bottom of pan with chilled crust in two layers of aluminum foil. Place it in a large roasting pan. This is to prevent water leaking in (more below).
- Pour batter into crust. Smooth out top with spatula.
- Place in the oven, center rack. Pour hot water into roasting pan, careful to avoid getting into the pie-foil seam. You want to create a water bath (Bain-Marie) for the cheesecake to evenly without cracking. The aluminum foil makes sure that the crust doesn’t get soggy.
- Carefully push the pan into the oven and bake for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, turn the oven off, crack the door for 1 min, close the door, and let the cheesecake bake for another 1 hour in cooling oven.
- DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR DURING EITHER BAKE TIMES.
- Remove cheesecake, and let cool on counter for 1 hour, and overnight in the fridge (at least 12 hours, preferably 24).
- Slice while chill with a sharp knife warmed in hot water. Wipe knife between each slice to reduce mess.
TOPPING (BERRY COMPOTE)
- 1 c. fresh blueberries or blackberries
- 2 Tb. granulated sugar
- Combine berries and sugar in a small saucepan.
- Heat over medium heat until it starts to boil, stirring every so often.
- Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Let the compote cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge.
Serve cheesecake topped with compote and ENJOY 😊