This is a perfect cheesecake recipe, and if it fails for you, it's your fault, not the recipes and certainly not mine! A couple of things you should know about cheesecakes: over beating will cause a cheesecake to crack. Beat cream cheese with sugar only until smooth. Proceed with a wooden spoon for the rest of the recipe. Over beating will cause a cheesecake to have the "wrong" texture. Air bubbles, gritty/not creamy texture, etc., are fixed by the same instructions above. Overcooking will cause a cheesecake to crack. Do not cook this cheesecake until its set. Matter of fact, don't check it at all. Put the cheesecake in the oven, set the timer to 60 min., turn the oven off, and forget it. I mean it! Don't open the oven; just leave it alone to do its thing. And that's it. A beautiful cheesecake. Far from bland: this is a purist's cheesecake. It's great as is, but also a great foil for other flavors. I serve mine with passion fruit pulp or mango puree. NEW YORK CHEESECAKE New York-style cheesecake, made famous by Lindy's and Junior's Deli, relies upon heavy cream, cream cheese, eggs and egg yolks to add a richness and a smooth consistency. Also called Jewish-style, it is baked in a special 13-15 cm (5- to 6-inch) tall spring form pan in many restaurants. Some recipes use cottage cheese and lemon for distinct texture and flavor or add chocolate or strawberry to the basic recipe. Chicago-style cheesecake is a baked cream-cheese version that is firm outside and creamy inside. Pennsylvania Dutch-style cheesecake uses a slightly tangy type of cheese with larger curds and less water content, called pot or farmer's cheese. Philadelphia-style cheesecake is lighter in texture, yet creamier in flavor than New York style cheesecake. INGREDIENTS Base 15 graham crackers, crushed 2 tablespoons butter, melted Filling 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese 1 cups white sugar cup milk 4 eggs 1 cup sour cream 1 tablespoon vanilla extract cup all-purpose flour METHOD Preheat oven to 350 degrees F Grease a 9 inch spring form pan. In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of spring form pan. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking. Chill in refrigerator until serving. Yields: 12 servings CHEF GILLIGAN
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