I prepared this cheesecake for Christmas Dinner dessert for my family that was here visiting from Ohio. I made one several weeks ago that was similar only that one had white chocolate in it. This one is pure and simple vanilla bean. The flavor and texture are superb and the fresh berries compliment it perfectly. I realize I'm beginning to sound like a broken record with all the cheesecakes, but seriously, it's all true! ☺ I know I said the one before this was my new favorite but guess what?! I think this one is the new fav! The reason being? It is not as sweet and rich because it's minus the chocolate. Really, really enjoyed this one!
7 graham crackers, finely crushed
30 Nilla Wafers, finely crushed
6 Tablespoons butter, melted
Mix well and press into bottom and halfway up the sides of a 8 inch Springform pan (sprayed with non stick spray). Bake @ 300° for 7 minutes. Allow to cool.
3 (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temp.
1 cup sugar, divided
1 vanilla bean, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 eggs, room temperature, slightly beaten
fresh squeezed lemon juice, ½ of a lemon, room temp.
2-3 teaspoons clear vanilla extract, optional
10-12 ounces sour cream
¼ cup sugar
contents of 1 vanilla bean,
or 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Place vanilla bean pieces and a ¼ cup of sugar into a coffee grinder and pulverize.
In a large mixer bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar and ground vanilla bean, beat until fluffy and creamy. Scrape down sides as needed. Add lemon juice and vanilla extract (if you're adding the extra) to the cream cheese mixture; mix. In a separate bowl lightly beat the eggs then add to the rest of the batter and mix until combined. Scraping down sides and mixing again. Do not over beat! Pour into prepared crust, place Springform pan on a baking sheet, and bake @ 300° for 1 hour.
Turn oven heat off and prop the door open with a wooden spoon handle. Leave cheesecake in the oven for another 40 minutes, then put topping on and return to oven for another 20 minutes with the door closed. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before refrigerating overnight. Remove from pan and serve.
Have a Blessed Day!