Cheesecake is one of those desserts that most people really enjoy but don't make themselves. It is also really nice to have a solid recipe in your repertoire. This cheesecake has been a hit every time I have made it. It rivals any cheesecake that I have had in a restaurant.
I make it in a square springform pan because it is a 9-inch pan. My round springform pans are 8 1/2-inch, 9 1/2-inch and 10 inch. I prefer my cheesecake to be thick so the first time I made this, I made it in the 8 1/2-inch pan and didn't use all the filling. I also cooked it a bit longer than stated in this recipe. If you make it in a bigger pan, you should start checking the cheesecake a little earlier.
Some things that have helped me along the way.
Cream cheese should be at room temperture when you make the filling. Let it sit out about 1 1/2 hours prior to mixing.
Use a water bath to prevent cracking. The filling is can get overcooked and a water bath will protect it from the direct heat.
To avoid condensation on the surface of the cheesecake, let it cool completely, then cover the pan (not the cake) with a paper towel and an inverted plate.
To slice the cheesecake neatly, dip a knife in hot water and wipe dry before cutting.
New York Style Cheesecake
Adapted from Everyday Food
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (if using salted, omit salt below)
14 graham crackers ( 3-by-5 inch)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-by-3-inch springform pan. In a food processor, pulse graham crackers until fine crumbs form; add melted butter, sugar, and salt, and pulse to combine. Press crumb mixture into bottom and about 1-inch up the side of the pan. Bake until set, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool. Reduce oven to 325 degrees.
Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium until fluffy, scraping down the side of the bowl. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in lemon juice, and salt. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down side of bowl after eacj addition. Bean in sour cream.
Wrap bottom half of the pan in foil. Pour in filling; place in roasting pan. Pour in boiling water to come halfway up to side of springform. Bake until just set in center, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove pan from water; let cool 20 minutes. Run a pairing knife around edge; let cool completely. Cover; chill overnight before serving.