This recipe never fails to get rave reviews.
I make it in a 9″ springform pan instead of a tinfoil pie dish because it’s so thick.
If you’re using a shorter pan/dish (or –gasp– a pre-made crust) remember to halve the cheesecake ingredients.
1 and 1/2 cups biscuit crumbs
1/8 cup sugar (granulated)
1/4 cup butter, melted
Mix together, press into springform pan, and bake for 10 minutes at 325 F.
This recipe comes from my mom, who, being British, always uses digestive biscuits. They do make a delicious crust. However, they can be expensive and hard to find, so graham crackers are fine too. I have also made this cheesecake with a gingersnap-based crust, which gives a more complex flavour.
The easiest way to crush the biscuits is to put them in a food processor (assuming 1. you have one, 2. it’s easy for you to find, 3. it’s not too complicated to set up, and 4. you are willing to clean it after). Otherwise, just put them in a ziplock plastic bag, remove as much air as possible before sealing it, and then stomp (or lightly hop) on the bag until they’ve all been turned to crumbs. It’s more fun than bashing them with a rolling pin, but you can do that instead if that’s your preferred way to work out aggression.
I like to melt the butter in a large ceramic bowl, so that I can add the other ingredients directly to the butter, without needing another separate bowl to mix them in. Make sure you fully mix the crumbs with the butter first before adding the sugar, or else the sugar will dissolve.
Finally, the first time I posted this recipe I accidentally put 1/4 cup butter for just 1 1/3 cups biscuit crumbs, which results in a very soggy crust. Upping the crumbs to 1 1/2 cups should solve that problem. The original recipe is all in ounces (being British) so if you want the authentic crust you should weigh out 4 oz crumbs, 1 oz sugar, and 2 oz butter.
4 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened (leave on counter for 2-4 hours, or microwave on high, unwrapped, checking after every 10 seconds)
1 cup sugar (granulated)
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until it reaches a smooth and spreadable consistency.
Grate the lemon until you have two teaspoons of zest. Microwave lemon on high for 30 seconds (or until warm). Then, with a citrus juicer, acquire approximately 5 tablespoons of juice (you get more juice from a warm lemon than a cold one).
Add sugar, zest, juice, and vanilla to bowl with cream cheese, and beat on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, and again mix until blended.
Pour mixture into crust (crust should be somewhat cooled by now).
Bake 60 minutes, or until the edges are solid and center jiggles when you gently shake the pan. Allow to cool before refrigerating. Store leftovers in fridge.
I always find it so misleading how recipes just put “zest” or “juice” in the ingredients list and then the instructions proceed as though you have already acquired the zest/juice. Recipes should include a step for each thing that you actually have to do, instead of just implying that you will have to do that thing, only for you to realize it at the most inopportune moment.
The Kraft recipe says to mix until the eggs are “just blended,” but I’ve never had a problem with mixing until “well blended.”
Some people go to great lengths to prevent their cheesecake from cracking. But really, who cares?? Is someone you serve the cheesecake to going to be like “you know, I really wanted to try some, but since there’s a crack I think I won’t”? If, indeed, someone is going to be like that, you can try turning the oven off once the edges are just set, and leaving the door shut until it’s done. Allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature (I leave it on the stove-top), before putting it in the fridge.
I will not even mention a water-bath, other than to say it’s far more trouble than it’s worth.
Notice I did not specify the amount of time for which the cheesecake should be refrigerated. My mom, for one, likes to eat cheesecake when it’s still warm from the oven (another British thing, apparently). To me, it starts getting pretty good after 6-8 hours, and very good after 24 hours. It doesn’t reach peak deliciousness until it’s spent 48 hours in the fridge, but that hardly ever happens, because (obviously) it gets eaten before then.
Cheesecake recipe adapted from: http://http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/philadelphia-3-step-luscious-lemon-cheesecake-51354.aspx (Kraft Recipes’ 3-Step Luscious Lemon Cheesecake). My version uses double the ingredients, a homemade crust, and a lot more lemon.