No-Frills Cheese Cake
- Crumb crust:
- 1 1/2 cups (5-ounces) finely ground graham crackers or cookies such as chocolate or vanilla wafers or gingersnaps
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus butter to grease springform pan
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 4 eggs
For the crust, stir together crust ingredients and press onto bottom and 1-inch up side of a buttered 24-centemeter springform pan. Fill immediately or chill up to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. For the filling, use your mixers lowest speed. Using a paddle attachment, if your mixer has one, beat the cream cheese smooth, no more than 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl and beater (or paddle.) Add the sugar in a stream, mixing for no more than 30 seconds. Stop and scrape. Add the vanilla, lemon juice, and 1 egg at a time; mix only until absorbed, no more than 30 seconds each. Add remaining eggs one at a time. Stop and scrape after each addition.
Wrap aluminum foil around the bottom of the springform pan so it comes at least 1-inch up the sides. Pour the filling into the pan over the crust. Place the pan in a jelly-roll or roasting pan and pour warm water into the pan to a depth of 1/2-inch.
Bake cheesecake for about 60 minutes, or until lightly colored and firm except for the very center. Remove from the pan of hot water.
Remove the foil and cool completely on a rack. Wrap the cheesecake in plastic or foil and chill overnight before unmolding.