Cheesecake should never be a source for anything except pure bliss. Here’s a step-by-step recipe that will help you make a creamy, no-fail cheesecake.
You also need eggs to hold the cake together. Three whole eggs do the trick. I also add an extra yolk, which enhances the cake’s velvety texture. (If you don’t feel like separating that fourth egg and don’t mind some extra airiness in the texture, just add the whole egg.)
Let the cheesecake sit in the turned-off oven with the door cracked for about an hour, then remove it from the water bath and cool it completely on the stovetop. When you remove it from the waterbath, also run a thin-bladed knife around the edge to make sure the cake isn’t sticking to the pan, which can cause cracks as the cake settles.
2 pounds (4 8-ounce packages) cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch, or 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (optional)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk (or 4 eggs)
12 whole graham cracker rectangles (6 ounces)
5 tablespoons butter, plus extra to grease the pan
YIELD: 8 to 10 servings.