Let me tell you, I've had this cheesecake (she made one for my Birthday) and it was beyond good. Better than the Cheesecake Factory, honest. And you'll see, this recipe practically comes with a video. You'll see what I mean...keep reading.
Thanks for having me back for your last Friday Of The Month Recipe series, Leslie! I’ve printed off some great recipes from some of your fascinating guest authors. I’m honored to be able to share my family favorite cheesecake with your audience. Baking a cheesecake from scratch sounds daunting, but really, it isn’t. It takes time to cool and chill, so allow yourself some leeway before taking this tasty treat to a party or serving it to your family.
Easy Bake Cheesecake
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup granulated white sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
32 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (use full fat, not reduced or fat free cream cheese)
3 Tbs all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbs lemon zest
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbs granulated white sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
The process begins…
Spray with a non-stick pastry spray, a 9-inch springform pan (I use two 6-inch spring form pans so my family gets to keep one cheesecake and I can give the other one away). Place the springform pan on a larger cookie sheet to catch any leakage while the cheesecake is baking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with the rack in the center of the oven.
For the crust:
Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan. Cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.
For the filling:
In the bowl of your electric mixer place the cream cheese (make sure the cream cheese is room temperature or else it will stick to your beaters and you’ll be fighting it constantly), sugar, and flour. Beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes), scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the eggs - one at a time – beating well (about 30 seconds) between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the whipping cream, lemon zest, vanilla extract and beat until well blended. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and pour in the filling. Place the cheesecake pan(s) in the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees F and continue to bake for about another 60-90 minutes or until firm and only the center of the cheesecake looks a little wet and wobbly. (The baking time can vary due to the differences in ovens and how many cakes you’re baking at one time. It’s very important to check that the cheesecake is firm with only the center being a little wet and wobbly.) Remove from oven and place the pans on a wire rack.
Remove from oven and carefully run a knife or spatula around the inside edge of pan to loosen the cheesecake (this is supposed to help the surface from cracking as it cools, but my cheesecakes tend to crack while they’re baking. The cracks don’t hurt the taste at all. I think they make the cheesecake look homemade.)
Makes one 9 inch cheesecake or two 6 inch cheesecakes.
To freeze: Place the cooled cheesecake on a baking pan and freeze, uncovered, until firm. Then wrap in aluminum foil and place in a freezer bag. Seal and return to freezer. Can be frozen for several months. Thaw uncovered cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight.
Pediatric oncology nurse, Jennifer O’Reilly returns home to Hawk Ridge, Colorado to establish a mountain recreation camp as a safe adventure for children battling cancer. Her path to ownership depends on developing a profitable business plan to convince the bank she can manage not only the camping facility, but the entire Trails’ End Ranch operation.
Generations earlier, one misplayed hand of poker lost part of the family ranch, and Zac Davidson, youngest son and financial genius of the Circle D, wants it back. Intrigued since childhood by the legend of his great grandfather, Zac is the only family member who holds out hope that one day the ranch would become Davidson property again. When the ranch goes on the market, money is no object, only Jennifer O’Reilly stands between him and his dream.
High school sweethearts, Jennifer and Zac have wounded each other, and the scars run deep. Jennifer is forced to reveal a secret she’s protected for twelve years. Will past mistakes jeopardize the future of both of their dreams or give them a second chance?
Award-winning author, Audra Harders, writes "rugged stories with heart" featuring cowboys who haven't a clue about relationships rescued by ladies who think they have all the answers. In real life, she's married to her own patient hero, has two adult children, and is surrounded by everything conducive to writing about farming, ranching and cowboys at her day job in the county Extension office. She began writing right after her son was born and sold her first book to Steeple Hill Love Inspired mere months before that same son graduated from high school. Surviving those years in-between reminds her God does have her plan for her life...and that He has a tremendous sense of humor.
You can visit her at www.AudraHarders.com. Readers and writers alike are invited to visit Seekerville, a group blog where Audra, along with twelve other inspirational authors, share wisdom and ideas about writing, life, and of course, food!