Instructions

  1. Select a pie pan whose inside top dimension is at least 9", and whose height is at least 1 1/4". Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Make the crust by stirring together all of the crust ingredients, mixing until thoroughly combined.

  3. Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan, making a thicker layer on the bottom than on the sides.

  4. Make the filling by mixing together the room-temperature cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in the eggs and vanilla, again mixing until smooth. To avoid beating too much air into the batter, use a mixer set at low-medium speed. To avoid lumps, make sure the cream cheese is softened, and/or at room temperature.

  5. Set the pie pan onto a baking sheet, if desired; this makes it easier to transport in and out of the oven, and also protects the bottom of the crust from any potential scorching. Pour the filling into the crust.

  6. Place the cheesecake in the oven. Bake it for 20 minutes, then add a crust shield; or shield the crust with strips of aluminum foil. Bake for an additional 10 minutes (for a total of about 30 minutes). A digital thermometer inserted into the crust 1" from the edge should read between 165°F and 170°F; the filling won't look entirely set in the center.

  7. Remove the cheesecake from the oven, and set it on a rack to cool. Once the cake is cool, refrigerate it, covered, until you're ready to serve it.

  8. Serve cheesecake in wedges, with fresh fruit if desired. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • To make a raspberry swirl cheesecake: Spoon or pipe 1/4 cup (85g) seedless raspberry jam onto the top of the filling once it's in the crust, before baking. Gently (and briefly) swirl the jam into the filling with a butter knife or toothpick; you don't want to combine jam and filling completely, just create a pretty pattern. Be careful not to go too deep, as you don't want to risk scraping the bottom crust. Bake as directed.
  • Want to serve the cheesecake with a tasty raspberry topping? Place the contents of a 12-ounce bag frozen raspberries (a scant 3 cups) in a bowl to thaw. You can hasten the process with a quick trip through the microwave, but don't let the berries cook. Add 1 tablespoon Instant ClearJel to thicken, and stir until well combined. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, to taste. Add a pinch of ground cinnamon, if desired. Spoon the topping over the cheesecake.
  • To make individual cheesecakes, divide the crust mixture and filling evenly among four 4" mini springform pans. Bake the cheesecakes for about 30 minutes, until the edges are set and a digital thermometer inserted into the center of one read 165°F to 170°F. Proceed with the recipe directions as written.