(Makes 3, 8” or 2, 10” cheesecakes)
Graham cracker crust
3 lbs 9 oz (7 cups) Cream cheese, room temperature
1 lb 2 oz (2 ¼ cups) sugar
¼ oz (1 ½ tsp) salt
15 oz (1 ½ cups + 1 Tbsp) eggs (Probably around 15 medium eggs)
1 ½ oz (3 Tbsp) egg yolk
7 ½ oz (3/4 cup + 3 Tbsp) heavy cream (or sour cream will work as well)
.75 oz (4 ½ tsp) vanilla extract
1. Coat the cake pans with a light film of fat and line them with parchment circles
2. Press the crust mixture evenly into the bottom of each pan
3. Combine the cream cheese, sugar and salt and mix on medium speed with the paddle attachment, occasionally scraping down the bowl, until the mixture is completely smooth, about 3 minutes
4. Whisk the eggs and egg yolks together. Add the eggs to the cream cheese mixture in very small amounts, making sure to scrape down the sides after each addition and making sure they are fully incorporated. This may take up to 6 additions. This will make it so it is not lumpy and perfectly smooth.
5. Add the heavy cream and vanilla, mix until fully incorporated
6. Add batter to pans, gently tap to release air bubbles
7. Bake in a hot water bath at 325 (or 300) until the centers of the cakes are set, about 1 hour
8. When the timer goes off, turn the oven off and leave the cheesecakes in the oven without opening the door for 30 minutes – 1 hour
9. Cool the cakes completely in the pans on wire racks. Wrap the cakes in plastic and refrigerate overnight to set.
Chocolate cheesecake: To 4 cups batter for 1, 8” cake, add 5 Tbsp sifted cocoa powder and blend well.
White chocolate cheesecake: To 5 cups batter for 1, 8” cake, add ¾ cup melted white chocolate and blend well.
Marble cheesecake: To 1 cup batter for 1, 8” cake, add 4 Tbsp melted bittersweet chocolate: Pour the chocolate batter into 4 cups plain batter and gently swirl three or four times with the end of a wooden spoon. Do not over mix. Pour the marbleized batter into the prepared pan and proceed as directed above
Lemon cheesecake: To 5 cups batter for 1, 8” cake, add 4 Tbsp lemon juice and the grated zest of one lemon and blend well.
Pumpkin cheesecake: To 3 cups batter for 1, 8” cake, add 1 ¼ cup pumpkin puree and blend well.