- 8 whole graham crackers (about 4 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for pan
- 2 ½ pounds cream cheese, at room temperature, cut into chunks
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- Pinch salt ½ cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs
*TIP: Pre-baking the crumb crust prevents it from becoming soggy. Remember to let it cool completely before adding the filling.
- Preheat oven to 350° F; set oven rack to lower third position. Lightly coat bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with butter. Wrap the bottom of the pan in heavy-duty foil; the foil should come about halfway up the sides of the pan.
- For crust: In food processor, pulse graham crackers until fine crumbs form. Add sugar and melted butter; pulse until combined. Press crumbs evenly into bottom of prepared pan. Bake 12 minutes, until edges start to brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Keep oven at 350° F.
- For filling: In a large bowl with electric mixer on high speed, beat cream cheese until blended, scraping sides of bowl. Add sugar and salt; beat until combined. Add sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla; beat until combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating and scraping the bowl between additions.
- Pour filling into prepared springform pan. Set pan inside a large, shallow roasting pan. Carefully add boiling water to the toasting pan to reach halfway up sides of springform pan.
- Bake 45 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 325° F. Continue baking 25 minutes longer, until cake is set but still slightly wobbly in the center. Turn off oven; leave door slightly ajar and let cheesecake sit in oven 1 hour. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Run a knife around edges to release from pan. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Remove pan sides; slide cake (still on its springform base) onto serving plate.
*Tip Wrap the bottom of the springform pan in heavy-duty foil to assure that water doesn't soak through the seal of the pan.
Recipe from "Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove Cookbook."