2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature
3 eggs, room temperature
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
16 ounces minus 1/3 cup (1-2/3 cups sour cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil, and then pour water into a 9x13 pan placed on the bottom rack of the oven*. This will remain in the oven the entire cooking time.
*Place the 9x13 pan on bottom rack and then pour water into pan, being careful not to splash.
To make crust:
Line the (inside) bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with aluminum foil. Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray.
Thoroughly combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a medium bowl, and then press mixture into the entire bottom and 1 inch up the sides to form crust.
To make filling:
In a large bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese and sugar on medium-high until smooth and fluffy.
Gently and thoroughly fold in the eggs, vanilla extract, and cream of tartar to the cream cheese mixture with a fork and then with a rubber spatula. Pour into the prepared crust.
Place in preheated oven on middle rack. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes.
The cheesecake may appear undone, but it is not. Remove cheesecake from oven (leave oven on) and cool for 10 minutes (in the pan).
To make topping:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, vanilla extract, and sugar.
Pour mixture over baked cheesecake. Bake additional 10 minutes. Turn oven off and immediately remove cheesecake from oven. Set on wire rack to cool to room temperature, approximately 2 hours.
Refrigerate cheesecake (while still in pan) for at least 4 hours, and when ready to serve, remove side of springform pan.
Refrigerate leftovers in springform pan.
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