Although some cheesecakes are made with ricotta, we prefer cream cheese for its smooth texture and luxurious taste. Cream cheese is itself an American classic, invented in the nineteenth century by a dairy farmer in upstate New York.
- Yield: Makes one 10-inch cake
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 1/2 recipe Cream Cheesecake Cookie Crust
- 3 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll out cookie-crust dough to slightly more than 1/8 inch thick. Place the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan on top, and use a paring knife to cut out a round about 1/4 inch larger than the pan. Place dough on top of springform base; freeze 15 minutes.
Remove dough from freezer; place on baking sheet. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Butter sides of springform pan, and insert cooled bottom; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. In a small bowl, combine sugar and flour. With mixer on low, gradually add sugar mixture to cream cheese; continue beating until smooth, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition and scraping bowl as necessary. Add sour cream and vanilla; beat until smooth.
Pour mixture into prepared pan. Place on a Silpat-lined baking sheet, and bake until top is golden, about 1 hour and 40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Turn off oven, and prop open door; let cool completely. Remove from oven; leave in pan. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours or overnight.