UPDATE: MUST HAVE THE WATER BATH FOR THE SMOOTHNESS- MY SECOND WAS GOOD JUST NOT AS CREAMY AS THE ONE I MADE IN THE BATH VERY -GOODCAKE ! I am happy to give the first review on this great cheesecake ! It was fantastic ! Mine did take longer to bake and next time I am trying w/ out the water bath to see if that changes anything. It MUST chill- or it will RUN. BUT- Even a little warm and runny it was SUPER !! We wanted to have it for a BBQ dessert and I did not see it needed to chill for 6 hours until I was putting it in the oven. We let it sit for about 2 hours before cutting. It was more like a custard- but SOO good. I put the little that was left in the fridge- it set up perfectly and tasted even better the next day. I used chocoloate grahams for my crust. I think this is my favorite cheesecake ! Thanks for posting !!
I became a family star with this recipe. My only deviations are:
Ginger snap crust-Crush 30 gingers snaps & 3/4 stick melted unsalted butter drizzled in food processor until fine. Bake for 10 mins at 350f (Gina Neely's recipe for the crust of her pumpkin cheesecake) and I drizzle homemade caramel sauce on it after it cools.
I quit using the springform pan because, as Alton says, they leak and mess up the crust. I found a 10" diameter cake pan in the do-it-yourself wedding section at the local big box store and always use the water bath method. Perfect every time. If you or your family/friends are fans of cheesecake, try this one on them. My brother-in-law doesn't like cheesecake but ate a sliver to be polite and came back for more. He's a convert. Thanks again, AB!
I found this recipe looking for a plain cheesecake to make into mini cheesecakes for my neighbor. I made the whole recipe, which gave me 3 minis and one thin cake in a springform pan. I completely forgot the water bath, and only baked them for 45 minutes, as they were smaller than the recipe called for. Even without the water bath, the cheesecake was smooth, crack-less and silky. Perhaps problems without the water bath were from the longer baking time? I was surprised to see how perfectly the cheesecake turned out, even though I didn't follow the recipe perfectly. This will be my "go-to" cheesecake recipe from now on.
Best cheesecake I've ever had. Bakes up beautifully and tastes amazing.
I saw this episode and it looked sooo good, but I was unable to take down the recipe @ the time. I knew that Zaar would not let me down. It never has yet. The first time I made this, I fell asleep while it was baking it so it went way over an hour. Then i feel asleep again after I shut the oven off. It still turned out great. Very easy, yet it lets people think that you slaved.
I love Good Eats and Alton knows what he's doing with this one! Mine tasted fantastic even though I used fat-free cream cheese, fat-free sour cream and substituted Splenda for half the sugar. You'd never know it from tasting it though! The graham cracker crust is spot on, and I will be using it for pudding pies and such. So delicious. The water bath is an absolute necessity. The water should come up to the same level as the filling (otherwise the top will cook too quickly and curdle instead of custarding gently.) DON'T FORGET TO BOIL THE WATER FOR YOUR WATER BATH! A lot of people on the Food Network forums seemed to forget that. I, too, feel that the bake time needs to be longer, as mine came out a little on the squishy side. Next time I will try up to 2 hours bake time. The worst part about this recipe is waiting 6 hours/overnight before digging in. Mmmmmm mmmmm! Now that's Good Eats!!