This Sour Cream Cheesecake is the basic cheesecake we sold at the shop with many variations. It is one of the most elegant desserts to be found. For the holidays, we topped it with a candied cranberry sauce that added the perfect contrast to the richness of this cheesecake. We also used this as the base for our Eggnog Cheesecake.
Cheesecake is the number one dessert in the country. There are literally hundreds of different flavors. Most cheesecakes have a graham cracker crust. However, this one is so delicate I used a shortbread crust in order not to overpower the cheesecake. It is important not to over bake the crust in the initial step as it will bake for about 90 minutes and then cool in the oven for another 60 minutes.
Because we made 18 cheesecakes at a time at the bakery, we made them in one of our large mixers. Since this is a single recipe, I have included the processor and mixer method of making it.
My preference for a cheesecake pan over a springform pan is explained in https://pastrieslikeapro.com/2015/06/triple-chocolate-cheesecake/
This cheesecake requires a water bath and that requires the cheesecake pan to be wrapped in foil to keep the water away from the crust. At the shop we put the 9 inch wrapped pan in a 10 inch pan. However, wrap the pan tightly or it won't fit in the 10 inch pan. If you don't have a 10 inch pan, any pan that will hold water and the cheesecake pan will do.
Sour Cream Cheesecake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom of a 9x3 inch cheesecake pan really well.
Crust ½ cup + 1 tablespoon flour (85 grams or 3 ounces)
6 tablespoons butter (90 grams or 3 ounces), cold and cut into small pieces
¼ cup sifted powdered sugar (25 grams or 1 ounce)
Place the flour and butter in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the butter is indistinguishable. Add the powdered sugar and pulse in.Pour it into the cheesecake pans and press the crust firmly into the bottom of the pan. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until light brown. I have found (after posting this article) that baking the crust to a medium brown helps the cheesecake to release much easier. With a spoon, press the edges of the crust lightly against the sides of the pan to prevent any gaps.
Place the flour and butter in the mixer bowl. It is important the butter is very cold. Beat until the butter is cut into the flour as above. Add the powdered sugar and mix briefly. You want to keep this very powdery. If it does go too long it will form a dough. While not ideal, it can still be pressed in.
1 pound of cream cheese (454 grams)
1 cup sugar (200 grams or 7 ounces)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1 ½ cups sour cream (340 grams or 12 ounces)
1 ½ cups 40% cream
Processor Method: Place the cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch and vanilla in the food processor. Process to mix well. Scrape. Add the sour cream; process. Add the eggs; process. Scrape down if necessary. Lastly, with the machine running, pour the cream down the feedtube.
Mixer Method: Place the cream cheese and sugar, cornstarch and vanilla in the bowl of a mixer. Beat until smooth and softened. Add the sour cream, mixing well. Next the eggs; beat to completely combine and last, the cream.
Pour over the base. To safely add really hot water to the water pan, place the two pans on a rimmed baking sheet. Carefully pour the water into the bottom panand place the tray with the cheesecake pans in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour. Carefully remove the pan with the cheesecake from the water pan. I usually place it on a couple of paper towels as the bottom of the cheesecake pan will be wet. Chill before adding the sour cream topping. I usually put in the refrigerator overnight before adding the topping as it is more stable.
Sour Cream Topping
8 ounces sour cream (225 grams)
3 tablespoons sugar (40 grams or 1 ¼ ounces)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together. Allow the cheesecake to sit for a few minutes and remix. It will then be smooth as the sugar has dissolved.
If the top of the cheesecake has condensation on it, blot with a paper towel. Spread the sour cream topping over the cheesecake evenly and bake for 10 minutes. Refrigerate until cold. I usually make this a day ahead.
To release the cheesecake, have a fat can at the ready. A 28 ounce can of tomatoes is perfect. Go around the outside of the cheesecake pan with a hair blower set to high. Place the cheesecake on the can and slide the side of the pan down. If it doesn't come down easily, reheat. Smooth the side of the cheesecake with a spatula.
After the side has been removed, place the cheesecake on a flat surface. With a metal spatula, go under the crust to release it. Place two pancake turners under the crust, lift up the cheesecake and place it on a board or serving plate.
Store in the refrigerator.
Serves 12 to 16