My familys had this astounding dessert treat for years, and, like so many other recipes, we've lost all track of where this cheesecake recipe came from. Here's the basic breakdown of this creamy sweet miracle.
Start with two sticks of butter; put them in a large ceramic bowl and let them sit there, to soften. Once its soft, cream (mix) the butter with 1 and cups of flour, one egg yolk and cup sugar. Cover the resultant dough and refrigerate it for at least half an hour.
For the best results, you really need to use a spring form pan, and a 10 inch one is the best size for this kind of recipe. Spray it liberally with PAM or similar oil spray, then separate one-third of the dough from the rest and press it into the bottom of the pan. Don't go up the sides; that process comes later. Bake this bottom crust at 400 degrees Fahrenheit; refrigerate to cool. Now this cheesecake recipe gets hot!
You raise the oven temperature to 475 degrees, and mix the filling. You'll need no less than five packages of cream cheese for it (at 8 oz. per, or get one of those long boxes of cream cheese at Costco or Sams Club). Beat the cheese in a bowl (a pretty big one, and stainless steel if you've got it) until it is smooth; add 1 and cups of sugar and beat that in until smooth also (this filling will take a real beating, we've barely started).
Now add three tablespoons of flour to the batter and mix it together well; beat in cup of heavy whipping cream (much better than half and half), 2 egg yolks (beat the cream cheese until smooth again) and then five eggs (incorporating them one by one into the filling). Add a dash or two of salt; beat the entire mixture, highest speed you can manage, for at least five minutes.
If you want to add special flavorings, such as vanilla, caramel or almond, do it now and be very sparing.
Now set the filling aside and finish up the crust. Press the raw cookie crust dough around the side of the spring form pan, creating a side crust that goes entirely round the pan. The crust should rest an inch from the top. Dont bake it it will bake with the filling. Pour the filling into the crust and bake it in the pan for 12 minutes only at 475 degrees.
Now, lower the heat to 300 degrees and bake for 35 minutes more. Then comes the secret if you open the oven, the dessert will not be fully baked, but will have a liquid wobble to it.Turn the oven off, but leave the cheesecake in the oven for half an hour more. Now take it out, cool it in the pan and refrigerate it overnight.
When you serve it, release the ring of the pan to remove the side; the crust should remain in place. Slide a spatula under the pan, loosen the cheesecake and slide it onto a plate. Garnish it with caramel sauce or chocolate sauce or fresh fruit or whipped cream.
Better than Cheesecake Factory, this is the most heavenly cheesecake I know.