Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tasteworthy Tuesday: Sour Cream Cheesecake

I have crossed past with folks who've told me they don't like cheesecake.  I say "crossed paths" because how can I possibly develop a lasting relationship with someone who doesn't like cheesecake.  I mean, what's not to like?  It's sweet, but not too sweet, velvety smooth and simply delicious.  Perhaps those crazy cheesecake hating people have never tried a cheesecake this wonderful.  I follow Alton Brown's recipe pretty closely.  He treats cheesecake as a custard (as it should be treated) and bakes a low temperature in a water bath. The result is the smoothest cheesecake I've ever made.  Give the recipe a try and let me know how it goes.  

Sour Cream Cheesecake 
Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown



33 graham cracker squares, crumbled

4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus additional, for brushing the pan

1 tablespoon sugar


20 ounces cream cheese (2 1/2 packages)

1 1/4 cups sour cream

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 whole eggs

3 yolks

1/3 cup heavy cream


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F and place a shallow pan with a few inches of water in the oven. Brush some melted butter around a 9 by 3-inch cake pan. Adhere parchment to the bottom and the sides.  If you choose to use a spring form pan (as I did) wrap the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil (as I forgot to do) to prevent water from leaking in.  Using a spring form pan means you can skip the buttering and parchment step.

In a small bowl, combine crumbled graham crackers, the melted butter, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Press 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of the parchment-lined pan. Place remaining crumbs on a sheet pan and bake both the crust (at 300 degress)  and the remaining mixture for 10 minutes. Cool. Reserve additional crumb mixture for the sides of the cheesecake.
In a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat sour cream for 10 seconds. Add the cream cheese and sugar and mix on low for 30 seconds and then turn up to medium. Scrape the bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine vanilla, eggs, yolks, and heavy cream. With the mixer on medium, slowly pour the liquid mixture in. When half of it is incorporated, stop and scrape. Continue adding the mixture until the rest of the ingredients are incorporated. Once completely combined, pour into the cooled crust.

Lower oven temperature to 250 degrees F. Place cheesecake into a preheated water bath, in the oven for 2 hours. Turn the oven off and open the door for one minute. Close the door for one more hour. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and place in the refrigerator for 6 hours to completely cool before serving.

If you used a cake pan instead of a spring form pan: When ready to serve, place the entire cake pan into a hot water bath for about 15 seconds. Unmold onto a cake round or serving dish. Take the remaining graham cracker mixture and press into the sides of the cake.

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  1. I can never find a cheesecake recipe that I actually like. I think the consistency of the cheese is never right - I think this may in fact be the answer.

    Oh, and who knows better than Alton.


    Sam @PrettyLovely

  2. Alton does know best. It takes a bit a patience with the 3 hour cook time and 6 hour cool time but it's definitely worth it.

    Love your blog, btw. Just added it to my reader (which is getting a bit out of control)

  3. So pretty. And I agree with you about not committing to those who can't commit to cheesecake.

    I think this would be perfect for Mother's Day, but I have a question - will it be as snazzy if I make it on Saturday?

  4. Jaime, I would definitely recommend making on Saturday; refrigerate overnight and decorate the next morning.

  5. this looks yummy...gotta love Alton!

  6. Hear hear! I looooooove cheesecake. It's one of my favorites (and how can you NOT like it, in all its creamy yummy deliciousness??). Lovely blog lady!
    : )