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Best New York Cheesecake

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Ingredients:

5 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups (one pint) sour cream, room temperature
4 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature
8 tablespoons (one stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Instructions:

Prepare Pan:
Grease a 10-inch springform pan generously with butter.
Wrap the outside of the pan with double-layered heavy-duty aluminum foil, making sure it’s tightly sealed around the bottom and sides to prevent water from getting in during baking.

Preheat Oven:
Place the oven rack in the center and preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).

Mix Ingredients:
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to blend eggs and sour cream until smooth.
In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese and butter until creamy, then add it to the egg-sour cream mixture and blend until smooth.
Add sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix everything thoroughly for about 2 minutes.

Bake:
Pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan.
Place the pan in a larger roasting pan (or any larger pan that fits without touching the sides).
Carefully pour hot tap water into the larger pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
Bake for 2 hours and 15 minutes at 300°F until the cake is lightly colored and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool and Chill:
Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and peel off the aluminum foil.
Let it cool at room temperature for about 4 hours, then refrigerate it covered overnight for the best flavor and texture.

NOTE:
Handling the Hot Pan:
Prepare a large platter or dish to hold the hot springform pan after removing it from the water bath (bain-marie).
Be extremely cautious when handling the hot water from the bain-marie as it can cause burns.

Plan Ahead:
Decide where to place the hot roasting pan before removing it from the oven, so you’re not scrambling to find a spot to set it down.
Remove the entire setup (cheesecake in springform pan inside the roasting pan) from the oven to avoid difficulties in removing the cheesecake from the water bath.

Safety Tips:
Be careful not to burn your wrists or hands while handling the hot springform pan.
Avoid soaking potholders in hot water as it can lead to burns on your fingers.

Cheesecake Appearance:
When first removed from the oven, the cheesecake may look puffy with hairline cracks on top. Don’t worry, as it cools, it will deflate slightly, and the cracks will disappear.

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