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Classic Cheesecake

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A crumbly graham cracker crust and silky cream cheese filling make this New York-style cheesecake a winner.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 12

Source: Everyday Food, April 2009

Ingredients

For Crust

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus room-temperature butter for pan
  • 12 graham crackers (3-by-5 inch)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

For Filling

  • 2 1/2 pounds bar cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make crust: 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 side of pan. Bake until set, 12 to 15 minutes; let cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven to 325 degrees.

  2. Set a kettle of water to boil. Make filling: Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium until fluffy, scraping down side of bowl. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in lemon zest and juice, and salt. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down side of bowl after each addition. Beat in sour cream.

  3. Wrap bottom half of pan in foil. Pour in filling; place in a roasting pan. Pour in boiling water to come halfway up side of springform. Bake until just set in center, about 1 3/4 hours. Remove pan from water; let cool 20 minutes. Run a paring knife around edge; let cool completely. Cover; chill overnight before serving.

Reviews Add a comment

  • maymaypdx
    26 MAY, 2017
    why does the cheesecake in the video have a browned top while the cheesecake in the image (and most cheesecake images) does not? I'd like to make sure the top is not browned.
    Reply
    • maymaypdx
      26 MAY, 2017
      Also, the recipe says to beat in salt (for the filling) but under the filling ingredients salt isn't listed.
  • lsbenham
    24 MAY, 2017
    My nephew requested "plain cheesecake " for his birthday. I wanted to try the MS Classic recipe I'd seen on Martha Bakes. Everyone loved this cheesecake, even the "I hate cheesecake crowd". It was silky and delicious. I have made dozens of recipes, this will be my goto in future. Follow instructions explicitly. Use three layers of HD 18" foil so there are no leaks. I made MS ganache tart and this cheesecake to follow dinner for 20 people ... there was only 1 small piece of each left-over ... Yahoo!! Martha and Team !!
    Reply
  • aditi14022007
    2 MAY, 2017
    I made this and it turned out to be lovely!
    Reply
  • MS12388426
    4 APR, 2017
    Best recipe ever! I don't even cook it in water now! Everyone still loves it!
    Reply
  • seamonster74
    12 FEB, 2017
    Thank you Martha! I made this for my pookie pie for Valentine's Day. She loved it! Followed recipe to the letter. Perfect!
    Reply
  • ashtondanielle2
    3 DEC, 2016
    Tried this recipe and there ended up being lumps in it, no matter how long I stirred it. I don't know what happened, but I was really disappointed by this recipe.
    Reply
    • MS11370413
      16 JAN, 2017
      You may want to let the cream cheese get to room temp to prevent lumps.
  • justinjustinst
    25 NOV, 2016
    It needs vanilla. Was it's omission a mistake? 2 t.
    Reply
  • MS11876216
    24 MAR, 2016
    I made this following every single instruction, watching Sarah Carey's marvelous video, and I am heartbroken. I bought huge heavy duty foil. I have examined it and there is still not a pinhole in it, but my cheese cake came out of the oven standing in an inch of water. I haven't cut it yet, but the bottom is obviously sodden. What is that, condensation? Why isn't it happening to everyone? (though I did see one other commenter having this problem) I am devastated, but not deterred. Advice please!
    Reply
    • MS11876216
      25 MAR, 2016
      OK! is was not a disaster. The cheesecake was divine and the water only seeped in a teeny-tiny bit around the edge. Still ~ is there a trick to the foil? Do I wrap the pan very tightly or make a loose well in it? I have this lovely Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch Springform Pan that has a slightly raised base (maybe 1/4 inch). It is said to clamp very tightly; though as I said some moisture did come in. Is this the wrong type of pan for this water bath?
      • MS10036352
        22 MAY, 2016
        While recipe is not bad it is certainly not the best of Martha's Cheesecake recipes. (If you google Martha Stewart's best cheesecake recipe you'll find 5 or so variations). regarding the question of how to do the foil - it took me one or two tries to get it right. I use 2 sheets of XL grill sized heavy duty foil running in opposite directions. Simply place your pan with your pre-baked crust in the foil, bringing the foil up to or even above the pan. You should have no leakage.
  • klaas_engelliv
    7 FEB, 2016
    "9-by-3-inch Springform-Pan" .....which size is it in cm?
    Reply
    • MtShastaGranny
      24 FEB, 2016
      22.86 cm X 7.62cm
  • MS10765614
    11 NOV, 2015
    I did the recipe last night.First I watched videoI Supposed that I made a mistake.I dont know what kind of mistake. The top of the cake burned.I wanted to cry.I did one more mistake.After cooking ı removed it the oven.Then the cake goes.Help me pleaseee..
    Reply