Unbelievable Cheesecake Update!

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Unbelievable CheesecakeI originally posted this Unbelievable Cheesecake in 2013.  However, on this, my last regular appearance on KMOV’s Great Day St. Louis, I chose to update it using the food processor.  In doing so, this is the fastest and easiest cheesecake I’ve ever made.

This is the easiest of all cheesecakes to make – five ingredients and you’re good to go (I don’t count water as an ingredient, if you do it’s  six). When I first stumbled across this recipe, it called for baking it overnight. I did and I ended up with a large off white hockey puck.

This unbelievable cheesecake requires no crust, no water bath and can be put together in a matter of ten to fifteen minutes from gathering the ingredients to pouring it in the pan. A 2 1/2 hour slow bake insures a perfectly smooth, creamy, delightful cheesecake with no cracks ready to serve plain or with a sauce.

While a springmold pan can be used, my preference is a cheesecake pan. This pan can be seen here.

I prefer to make this in the processor as opposed to the mixer but I have included instructions for both. It is far easier to get a completely smooth, lump free cheesecake with the processor but either machine will yield a wonderful cheesecake so don’t hesitate to use what you have.

Cheesecake
3 to 4 tablespoons graham or cookie crumbs
2 pounds cream cheese, regular or 1/3 less fat, room temperature (910 grams)
1 cup sugar (200 grams or 7 ounces)
5 eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup water

Spray a 9 inch cheesecake or springform pan with cooking spray. Add the crumbs and shake the pan to dust it with the crumbs on the bottom and about 1 1/2 inches up the side. Remove the excess and set the pan aside. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Processor Method
Place half the cream cheese in the processor and process until it is smooth. Add the remainder of the cream cheese and the sugar, processing until completely smooth. Scrape down several times to make sure there are no lumps hiding. Add the eggs, process and scrape down. Add the vanilla and water. Process to make sure it is smooth.

Pour it into the prepared pan and continue to baking.

Mixer Method
In a mixer bowl, combine the cream cheese and sugar, beating until smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom often to prevent lumps. Add the eggs, one at a time. Scrape down every two eggs. Add the vanilla and water and beat to just combine. You do not want to incorporate air at this point. That’s it!!! Pour into the prepared pan and place in the oven.

Baking
Bake for 2 1/2 hours until the cheesecake does not “jiggle” in the middle. It will be very lightly browned. Cool in the pan and refrigerate until cold or overnight.

To remove from the pan easily, heat the sides with a hair dryer set on high. If using a cheesecake pan, place it on top of a wide can and slide the bottom down. If using a springform pan, release the side of the pan. Using a straight, metal spatula, loosen the bottom by slipping the spatula between the cake and the bottom of the pan. Using two pancake turners, one on each side of the cake, lift the cheesecake onto a serving plate. If using a springform pan, you cannot loosen the bottom because of the lip. However, the cheesecake should be firm enough to lift off using the pancake turners.

Note: This cheesecake freezes well if you wish to make it ahead.

Brandied Cranberry Sauce –  I realized that the cheesecake would benefit from a sauce.  Looking around I had a package of cranberries in the freezer so I quickly made this sauce.  I did not write down the amounts but these are as I remember them.  Cranberries have an enormous amount of pectin which is why there is no thickener used.
12 ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries, picked over (340 grams)
1/2 cup water
1 1/4 cup sugar (250 grams or 8 3/4 ounces)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons brandy

Combine all of the ingredients except the brandy in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Boil until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and add the brandy. Cover directly with film and allow to cool. Refrigerate.

To use: Heat slightly if necessary to loosen if too thick.

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16 thoughts on “Unbelievable Cheesecake Update!

  1. Paule-Marie

    I can’t wait to try this cheesecake. Would it also work in individual cheesecake pans (the ones that are about the size of a muffin pan with removable inserts)?

    1. hfletcher Post author

      I have never made them this way but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. The time would probably be reduced but just bake them until they are barely jiggle.

  2. Nancy L. Neumann

    Helen many thanks for sharing this recipe. I am so sorry you will be leaving Great Day St. Louis. I have enjoyed seeing you make so many wonderful recipes on the show. You will be missed. I will follow along on your blog. All the best to you always. Happiest of Holidays to you!

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Dear Nancy – How very thoughtful of you to send such a gracious note. I loved being on the program but my schedule has become too full and I want to spend more time writing.

      It is hard to believe a 4 minute segment would take a day or longer to prepare, but when you add up all the time for the shopping, photography, the beauty shot (the one you see when I am on) and the one I prepare on TV, it amounts to a lot.

      I was fortunate to do something I enjoyed for so long. Happy Holidays to you and all those you love,

      Helen

  3. hbmalewska

    Good Evening, I baked this cheesecake today. I am an experienced cheesecake baker, but this is the first time I have prepared the batter in a food processor – how much easier!! However, I do have some questions, as I had some issues with the final result.
    a. After 2 hrs, the internal temp was at 160 degrees – I left it in for another 15 min as the center was still a ‘bit’ jiggly. I had also wrapped my chessecake pan with one layer of heavy duty aluminum foil and baked on a sheet pan.
    b. After removing from the oven, I ran a small off-set spatula around the edge to make sure it was not adhered to the sides of the pan.
    c. I set the cake on a rack, unrapped and out of any draft. It cracked miserably – a huge X down the middle of the cake. I covered this with the sour cream topping from your earlier cheesecake recipe. I will let this creation cool to room temp, and then refrigerate.
    Do you have any suggestions as to what I have done that may have caused the cracking – I have never, in the past, had a cheesecake crack, but have always use a water bath for baking.
    Thanks in advance for any insight you may provide.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Several things come to mind immediately. Wrapping the pan was unnecessary, the cheesecake will not leak through. If it would have, I would have included that instruction. Heavy duty only made it worse. I have never wrapped this one. I do wrap if the cheesecake is to be waterbathed. By wrapping, you slowed down the already really slowed temperature even more.

      Secondly, placing it on a pan slowed the heat to the cheesecake even more. AT 200 degrees, there is no room to slow the heat additionally. I imagine the heat was probably around 175 to 180° degrees at the most.

      Third, if you stuck a thermometer in the cheesecake, you opened up a hole to start it cracking.

      Did you use the water? This thins the mixture so it doesn’t crack.

      It is important to follow the directions of any recipe the first time you bake it. Often, mistakes comes from applying rules from another recipe that don’t belong. If you go to my site you will see a video of it being made and of my host eating it.

      This is not a normal cheesecake and therefore, does not follow the normal rules.

      1. hbmalewska

        Thank you for your response. Before baking, I watched your video and did use the waster to thin the batter. I had a small amount of leakage onto the foil, but will try again not wrapping or using a sheet pan. Thanks again, I really enjoy your site, own your cookbooks and love your recipes.

      2. hbmalewska

        An update – We just cut into this cheesecake and this is one of the most delicious cheesecakes I have every made/tasted – even with my mistakes. It is creamy and not overly sweet. Thank you.

  4. MrsSW

    Good morning, Helen,

    This sounds like an amazing recipe which I want to try soon. What is the cranberry sauce you use on the cheesecake in the video?

    Also, the link for the cheesecake pan leads back to the Unbelievable Cheesecake Update! page.

    Thanks,
    Sheila

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Sheila – Thanks for bringing the link to my attention. I fixed it Also, I added the Brandied Cranberry Sauce. It really is good with this cheesecake.

  5. JA Williams

    I’m very curious what purpose the 1/4 cup of water serves. I have never encountered a cheesecake recipe with water.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      It was in the original recipe and it thins the mixture so it reduces the possibility of cracking. I have never had one of these crack.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Vera – Sorry to be so late getting back to you. I have an ongoing medical problem which came up in November and has kept me engaged, so I have been unable to keep up with the blog.

      Yes – 4 – 8 ounce packages equals 2 pounds. 16 ounces equals one pound.

  6. Manisha

    Hi Helen

    This cake does seem simpler. I think the trick is to bake it slow and long! I still struggle with cheesecake’s doneness particularly 8″-9″ ones. Even after baking so many of them I keep wondering what is the correct amount of jiggle-y centre to know if it’s done? I am happy your recipe says “till it does not jiggle in the centre”. It surely makes life simpler.

    Love

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