1. I'm not much of a cream cheese person, but I recently discovered a homemade cheesecake recipe that I love!
    So I thought I would share it with you all! I also have an amazing peanut butter cheesecake brownie recipe (yeah, it's basically a heart attack waiting to happen, but they're so good!). I haven't made them in a few years, but if anyone wants that recipe I'm happy to email or DM it.
  2. This cheesecake is made in a springform pan. I've never made it in any other pan, and I can't imagine it would work out well if you tried. So get the springform pan. 9 or 10 inches.
  3. Please note that mine is red and the cutest pan ever!
    From Target, or course.
  4. Preheat your oven to 325 and first up is the crust. It's super easy!
    Mix together 6 tablespoons (3/4 of one stick) melted butter, 1.5 cups of graham cracker crumbs and 4 tablespoons of sugar. Original recipe called for 5 tbsp but that is just too sweet, trust me, so go with 3.5-4.
  5. For the graham cracker crumbs, I use Nabisco Original flavor and one package inside (box comes with 3) gives you the needed 1.5 cups.
  6. I do half a package of the graham crackers at a time and it's super quick and easy in my adorable mini food processor, which matches my lovely KitchenAid mixer.
  7. After you mix everything together, put it into your springform pan.
    I put a little at a time into the pan and use my hands to press it into the bottom and up the sides. Then I flatten it more/smooth it out by using the bottom of a measuring cup.
  8. My pan is actually 9.75 inches instead of 9 inches as the recipe I based it off of was, so you could probably up it to two cups of crumbs if you're using a pan that is 9.5-10 inches.
    But the cake will fall some in the center after it cools anyway, so I find the 1.5 cups is enough and just go as far up the sides of the pan as I can, and it works perfectly for the crust.
  9. Set that aside and start on your filling.
  10. First add (3) 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, 1.5 cups of sugar, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of vanilla to the mixer.
  11. Before mixing, add in 4 egg yolks. To make separating your eggs super easy, use one of these gems.
    Save the egg whites in a separate bowl.
  12. I always start this filling on the lowest mixer setting.
    Then once the cream cheese chunks are mostly mixed in, I up it to the second-lowest setting. You don't have to go any higher than that. Also, even though I do use my scraper blade mixing attachment, I still stop it once or twice to clean off the sides and the attachment with a spatula.
  13. While that is mixing, beat your egg whites in their separate bowl.
    You're supposed to do it until they're stiff and creamy, but I just do it until the mixer has blended all the other ingredients together, which doesn't take long.
  14. Then fold the egg whites into your batter in the mixer and blend until everything is smooth and pretty.
    Again, you can use the lowest settings and it doesn't take long.
  15. Then pour it into your pan and put it into the oven and bake for 35 minutes.
  16. After the 35 minutes are up, turn off your oven. But leave the cheesecake in there with the door closed for another hour.
  17. Then take it out and let it cool.
  18. It will look lovely when you take it out, but any time I've made it, it will fall in the center when it cools.
    But no worries, as some lovely listers pointed out to me the first time I made it since that makes a great shape for toppings.
  19. I forgot to take a picture of mine last night after it cooled, but here it was from the first time I made it.
  20. After it sets out for about another hour, put aluminum foil over it and put it in the freezer overnight.
    You could probably get away with just a few hours in the freezer but overnight is all I've ever done and it comes out perfectly.
  21. The next day, take it out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge for 3-4 hours before serving.
    When you freeze it, you leave it in the springform pan but to thaw it, take off the outside of the pan and just cover it with aluminum foil before it goes in the fridge.
  22. It really is the yummiest cheesecake...and my friend who lived in NYC for the first 30 years of her life says it's the best she's ever had. So, it's worth making even though it's more complicated than some other cheesecake recipes.
  23. Yesterday I made it for my roommate's birthday and all 8 ladies we had over loved it!
  24. PS - I usually serve mine with homemade whipped cream and fresh strawberries (which I cut and mix with a spoonful of sugar).
    For the homemade whipped cream, mix 1 cup whipping cream (you can also use heavy cream, but I prefer mine a little lighter), 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a chilled metal bowl. It's really light, so it pairs well with a rich/sweet cheesecake. I have hand whipped it and that works okay but it's super easy in the mixer! However, when I do that, I double the recipe. If you don't, your whisk attachment may not reach the mixture.