Cheesecake is one of the few cakes that doesn’t need much alteration to come out lovely up here, but I still consulted my high altitude bible. Unfortunately, it only includes a recipe for orange cheesecake. So I took this recipe and altered it a little. It was wonderful.
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 and 1/2 cups (180g) graham cracker crumbs (about 12 full sheet graham crackers)
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 5 Tablespoons (71g) unsalted butter, melted
- 32 ounces (904g) full-fat brick cream cheese (4 of them), softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (240g) full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 325°F
- Make the crust: If you’re starting out with full graham crackers, use a food processor or blender to grind them into fine crumbs. Pour into a medium bowl and stir in sugar until combined, and then stir in the melted butter. Mixture will be sandy. Try to smash/break up any large chunks. Pour into an ungreased 9-inch or 10-inch springform pan. With medium pressure using your hand, pat the crumbs down into the bottom and partly up the sides to make a compact crust. Do not pack down with heavy force because that makes the crust too hard. Simply pat down until the mixture is no longer crumby/crumbly and you can use the flat bottom of a measuring cup to help smooth it all out if needed. It doesn’t need to go very high up the sides. Place on a cookie sheet and pre-bake for 11 minutes. Remove from the oven.
- Make the filling: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed in a large bowl until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the sour cream and vanilla extract, then beat until fully combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl. On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until just blended. After the final egg is incorporated into the batter, stop mixing. To help prevent the cheesecake from deflating and cracking as it cools, avoid over-mixing the batter as best you can. You will have close to 6 cups of batter. (If you screw this part up, you can whiz the batter in the food processor in three batches to make the batter nice and smooth. Just be sure to clean out all the graham cracker crumbs.
- Pour the cheesecake batter on top of the crust.
- Bake cheesecake for 70 minutes or until the center is almost set. If you notice the cheesecake browning too quickly on top, tent it with aluminum foil halfway through baking. When it’s done, the center of the cheesecake will slightly wobble if you gently shake the pan. Turn the oven off and open the oven door slightly. Let the cheesecake sit in the oven as it cools down for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, then cool the cheesecake completely uncovered at room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours or overnight. Or just eat it.
- Remove the rim of the springform pan. Using a clean sharp knife, cut into slices for serving. For neat slices, wipe the knife clean and dip into warm water between each slice.
- Serve cheesecake with desired toppings. Cover and store leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Like it’s going to last that long.
I cooked some frozen peaches in a little bit of sugar and butter and then some cognac, which I lit on fire by tilting my pan toward my gas flame.