I am so picky about my cheesecake. There are two things my cheesecake must have. First is, it must be creamy, not dry, not so dense you will choke on it going down, and second, the perfect crust to cheesecake ratio. Seriously, I am so hell bent on those things, I rarely find a cheesecake I love. UNLESS, I make it myself.
See that the cheesecake isn't so tall? That is because it would completely jack up my ratio. To much cheesecake for the crust. Can't have it. The Nilla wafers for the crust, just drive the beautiful vanilla flavor home. I could not be happier with how this baby turned out. I don't care for lemon juice in my cheesecake. I used sour cream, for the tang, but the creaminess too. Just get in your kitchen, and make it. I am making myself drool just explaining it, and there is none left. That is right, NONE left. I hope you enjoy the sweet, tangy, creaminess, along with the crunch of the top. OMG, just those words ALONE get me excited! I seriously just thought that the only way to make cheesecake better was to finish the top like crème brulee and to taste like cream brulee. Mission accomplished on both.
For the crust you will need:
40 Nilla Wafers
5 tbsp melted butter
In your food processor or with a rolling pin, process or roll over the cookies (in a Ziploc)) until you have fine crumbs. Add in melted butter and process until combined or mash your bag until all the butter is incorporated into the cookies. Press into the bottom of a LIGHTLY greased 9 inch spring form pan. Set aside.
For the filling you will need:
2 8oz bricks of cream cheese (at room temperature)
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
Using a large bowl and a hand mixer, or your stand mixer OR food processor, combine all ingredients very well. Pour into pan with crust and even out. Now take a large sheet of foil, and lay it flat on the counter. Put your pan in the center and fold the foil up all around the pan. This will prevent any water from your water bath seeping into the pie.
Now place the spring form pan into a larger backing sheet or roaster. Fill the roaster halfway up with boiling water. DO NOT get water into your pie! Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Remove pie, the middle will be a TINY bit jiggly. Let cool at room temperature COMPLETELY. This is NOT optional. Then refrigerate for 4-5 hours, but overnight is best. The longer the better.
1/4 - 1/2 cup brown sugar
Sprinkle over the top in layers. Using a torch or the broil setting on your oven, melt sugar. I left a bit of it unmelted which made for a beautiful little crunch. If you broil it, do NOT leave it for even a second. When it started to bubble or browns to your liking, remove and let cool.
I hope you give this pie a try. We LOVED it and let's be honest, what's not to love?!
Your "gimme a torch" Chefwannabe