The Perfect Cheesecake Recipe

 This really is the perfect cheesecake ever! I love a tangy, creamy cheesecake! Thank you for this one. I altered it a bit to get a thicker crust. This recipe definitely takes time but is so worth it.

The Perfect Cheesecake Recipe

3 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 Tblsp sugar
pinch of salt
7 Tblsp unsalted butter, melted (if using salted butter, omit the pinch of salt)

2 lbs cream cheese, room temp
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla
4 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

2 cups sour cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
12 oz fresh rasberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water

Special equipment needed:
9inch 2 3/4inch high springform pan
heavy duty 18inch wide aluminum foil
Large, high sided roasting pan

Prepare the springform pan so that no water leaks into it while cooking. Place a large 18inch square of heavy duty aluminum foil around the pan. Make sure to do this gently so that you don't create any holes in the foil. If there are any holes, water will get into the pan and ruin crust. Press the foil around the edges of the pan. Place a second large square of foil underneath the pan, and repeat, gently folding up the sides of the foil around the pan and pressing the foil against the pan. To be triply safe, repeat with a third layer of foil. Gently crimp the top of the foil sheets around the top edge of the pan.
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lower third of oven. Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Put in a large bowl, and stir in the sugar and salt. Stir in the melted butter. Put all but 1/4 cup of the graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of the springform pan if desired so you can save it to fill in any holes that need to be filled in. (I skipped this part and just added all my crumbs into the pan.)
 Gently press down on the crumbs using your fingers, util the crumbs are a nice even layer on the bottom of the pan, with maybe just a slight rise along the inside edges of the pan. Be careful as you do this, as not to tear the aluminum foil. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
 Reduce oven temp to 325 degress.
 Cut the cream cheese into chunks and place in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes until smooth, soft and creamy. Add the sugar, beat for 4 minutes more. Add the salt and vanilla, beating after each addition. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. Add the sour cream, beat until incorporated. Add the heavy cream, beat until incorporated. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl, and scrape up any thicker bits of cream cheese that have stuck to the bottom of the mixer.
 Place the foil-wrapped springform pan in a large, high sided roasting pan. Prepare 2 quarts of boiling water. Pour the cream cheese filling into the springform pan, over the graham cracker bottom layer. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Place the roasting pan with the springform pan in it, in the oven, on the lower rack. Carefully pour the hot water into the roasting pan (without touching the hot oven), to create a warm water bath for the cheesecake, pouring until the water reaches halfway up the side of the springform pan, about 1 1/4 inches. (Alternatively you can add the water before putting the pan in the oven.)
 Cook at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
 Turn off the heat of the oven. Crack open the oven door 1inch, and let the cake cool in the oven, as the oven cools, for another hour. This gentle cooling will help prevent the cheesecake surface from cracking.
 Cover the top of the cheesecake with foil, so that it doesn't actually touch the cheesecake. Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours, or overnight.
 Prepare the Sour cream topping:
Place sour cream in a medium sized bowl, stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla, until smooth. Chill until you are ready to serve the cake. This makes enough to have extra to serve if desired so don't add it all if its too much.
 Place raspberries, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Use a potato masher to mash the rasberries. Heat on medium, whisking, about 5 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
 Remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator and remove the foil from the sides of pan and place the cake on your serving dish. Run the sides of cake with a blunt knife carefully. Open the latch of the pan and remove.
 Spread the top of the cheesecake with the sour cream mixture. Serve plain, or drizzled with rasberry sauce. EnJOY!