I wish I had an interesting story to go with this cheesecake, but the truth is I made it because cream cheese was on sale for $1.50 a block at Mariano’s. That, plus I’d been reading about fluffy cheesecake vs. dense and creamy cheesecake and felt like making a fluffy cheesecake with stiffly beaten egg whites.
This cheesecake was the result. With only 2 packs of cream cheese (16 oz total), it’s as tall and stately as my favorite New York style cheesecake which calls for 5 packs.
Alas, this cheesecake did have a massive crack despite the slow cooling process, but I wasn’t too concerned with cracking since I’d planned on adding a topping. The overall fluffy texture and height of the cake made up for the crack.
Update: This is a delicious cheesecake, but after baking it at 300 for an hour and letting it sit in the “off” oven for an hour, it developed a crack — and not just for me, but for everyone who has tried it. I baked it again using 300 for only 30 minutes, then turning the oven down to 250 for the next 30 minutes. This time the cake had a much smaller crack, therefore I am changing the directions slightly . I’ve also changed the crust to a baked crust. The old version was unbaked, but I think I like the texture and flavor of a baked crust a little better.
Update 2: This is pretty much my go-to cheesecake recipe these days, and maybe it’s a coincidence but I no longer get even smaller cracks (last photo above) when I bake it in an electric oven at 300 for 30 minutes, 250 for 30 minutes, oven off with door closed for 1 hour and slightly ajar for a final 30 minutes.
- 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 packages (8 oz each) of cream cheese (softened)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 5 large egg yolks
- 2 cups (16 oz) sour cream, room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 5 large egg whites
- Topping is optional -- We like canned cherry pie filling so I usually just throw that on. Plain sweetened whipped cream would be good, too.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Rub a 9 inch springform pan all over with butter.
- Mix together crust ingredients and press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Set it on a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Let cool.
- Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees F.
- With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
- Add yolks, sour cream, vanilla, and lemon juice; mix until smooth.
- Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry, and fold into mixture. Pour over crust and smooth the top.
- Set on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 300 degrees F.
- Reduce heat to 250 degrees F. and continue baking for another 30 minutes.
- Turn off heat, and let cake remain 1 hr longer with door closed. Open door and let cake remain at least 1/2 hour longer.
- Let cool at room temperature, then chill overnight or for at least 8 hours. Top with pie filling if desired.