For the Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs from 12 whole crackers
6 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
For the Cheesecake:
2 1/4 lb cream cheese room temperature (4 1/2 packages, 8-oz each)
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
How to Make Cheesecake Crust:
Crush graham crackers into crumbs. In a medium bowl, combine crumbs together with melted butter and sugar and stir until moistened.
Press crumbs into a 9″ springform pan, going up the sides slightly. Bake in the center of the oven at 350˚F for 8 minutes then cool to room temperature.
Place 2 large sheets of extra-wide heavy-duty foil on the counter. Set the springform pan in the center and fold the foil up the sides of the pan ensuring there are no rips or holes. Fan the foil out slightly at the tops to keep the rim clear for rising.
How to Make Perfect Cheesecake:
Preheat oven to 450˚F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine cream cheese and 1 1/4 cups sugar. Beat on medium/high speed for 5 minutes until completely smooth, scraping down the bowl and attachment as needed.
Reduce speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, letting them incorproate between each addition and scrakping down the bowl as needed.
Reduce speed to low and add 1/4 cup sour cream and 1/2 Tbsp vanilla and mix just until incorporated. Pour batter over the foil-wrapped springform pan with your cooled crust.
How to Bake Cheesecake in a Water Bath:
Boil a pot of water (boil more than you think you’ll need to ensure there’s enough). Set your cheesecake pan in a deep roasting pan. Pour hot water around the edges about half-way up the sides of the springform pan (1 1/2″ to 2″ of water).
Carefully transfer cheesecake to the center rack of the oven and bake at 450˚F for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 225˚F and without opening the door, bake additional 60-75 minutes or until center of cheesecake wobbles slightly when you tap the pan.
Remove cheesecake from the oven and let it rest in the roasting pan with water for 45 minutes then transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Cover pan with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator overnight to fully set before slicing.