As you know I have previously been a part of two dessert businesses. There were over 60 flavors of cheesecake on my menu at one point in time. The way that was possible is that I have a base recipe for cheesecake and then add lots of different ingredients to it. So I’m going to share with you my base recipe and tell you how to add to it and make MANY flavors to impress your friends and family!
The one thing that is different and fabulous about this cheesecake is the crust. It is a short bread cookie crust! After much experimenting it was the best crust that would hold together and not crumble while eating it. A graham cracker crust works well but is kind of messy!
Cheesecake – Base Recipe
1/2 c (1 stick) butter, melted
1 c flour
1/3 c brown sugar
3 – 8 oz packages of cream cheese
1 c sugar
1 c sour cream
2 tsp vanilla
1. Add flour and brown sugar to melted butter. Mix well.
2. Pat into the bottom of a cheesecake pan. I use a pan with a removable bottom and it works great but a springform pan is a traditional cheesecake pan and that will work fine too!
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until golden brown. I put a pan under it because butter sometimes drips and then makes my smoke alarm go off!
3. While crust is baking add cream cheese and sugar to mixing bowl. Mix for a few minutes until it is very creamy and smooth.
4. Add sour cream and vanilla. Mix well.
5. Add eggs one at a time, making sure they are well incorporated between additions.
6. This is where you can add other ingredients. First example I will give you is for lemon cheesecake. Add the juice and zest of one lemon. Mix well.
7. Pour batter into pan on top of crust. Bake in oven at 350 for 35-45 minutes. I always check it after about 25 because depending on the ingredients you add you will need to adjust the baking time. What you are looking for is that when you jiggle the pan you can only see a small circle of the batter still jiggling in the center. It will continue to bake a small amount in the pan but not much. What you do not want is to overbake it and then it will crack.
This is the lemon cheesecake after baking. I also take a knife and run it round the side when it is still hot so it doesn’t stick as much. Place it in the freezer until it is set. I store it in the freezer until we want to eat it. It will keep for quite a while depending on what you store it in but it will get freezer burned after a bit.
ENJOY! I’ll be back to share with you some ideas of what other kids of cheesecake you can create with this base recipe!