Cheesecake seems fancy and intimidating, or at least it intimidated me. For years I didn't make cheesecakes from scratch b/c I thought they were too hard. However, they really aren't. Plus, this cheesecake is actually quite simple and easy to whip up in thirty minutes.
The first Valentine's Day for my husband and I when we were dating I made him a cheesecake. I used a cute little 6 inch pan, and topped this Lemon Cheesecake w/ Raspberries. I wouldn't say the cheesecake is what won him over, but I'm pretty sure a Valentine's gift of home baked cheesecake goodness definitely didn't hurt. :)
If you are a bit intimidated by cheesecake then try making this one. It's got a fancy elegant flavor, but it is simple and straightforward to make. You can do it. You can make this cheesecake.
Follow the few tricks below to make the best cheesecake, and these tips work for cheesecakes in general:
- Be sure the cream cheese is softened to room temperature and beat it well all by itself until it is smooth w/o the cream cheese chunks.
- To avoid cracks in your cheesecake NEVER open the oven. When the baking time is up turn the oven off and let the cheesecake completely cool in the oven for a couple hours. Then you can remove the cheesecake from the oven and toss it in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
Recipe: Alohamora adapted from Lion House Desserts pg 15
Active Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Time: 3-4 hours
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
5 Tbsp butter, melted
3 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 c. sugar
3 eggs, large
1 tsp vanilla
1/3-1/2 c. lemon juice (about 1 large lemon juiced)
Optional Toppings: raspberries, lemon zest, whipping cream.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a small bowl mix together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter with a fork or spoon.
- Press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of a 10 inch springform pan until it is evenly distributed and covers the entire bottom of the pan.
- Bake the crust for 3-5 minutes. This is completely optional, but I think it helps keep the crust together a little better.
- In a large mixer or stand miser whip the cream cheese until it is smooth.
- Add your sugar and eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition. You may need to scrape the sides of your bowl.
- Add the vanilla and finally the lemon juice one at a time mixing after each addition until everything is just combined.
- Pour the filling on top of the prepared crust, and bake the cheesecake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes.
- When the 40 minutes is done turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven. Do not open the oven door. Opening the door will cause the cheesecake to crack.
- Allow the cheesecake to cool completely in the oven for 2-4 hours before removing the cheesecake and storing it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
- Top the cheesecake with lemon zest, whipping cream, and/or fresh strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries before serving.
- Store leftover cheesecake in the fridge.