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Craig Claiborne's Cheesecake

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years ago

Craig Claiborne's Cheesecake


It is necessary to habe a powerful mixer to beat the cream cheese adequately: now's the time to invest in a Kitchen Aid K5A!


The other requirement is two cheesecake pans: an 8" inner pan with 3" sides and a 10" outer pan also with 3" sides to make a bain marie.


I've won a bet which required me to make this in 20 minutes from a clean kitchen!


  • the finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 3 Tbsp of lemon juice (same lemon!)


  • 2 lbs cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs


  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs



  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Butter the inside of the inner pan very thoroughly (else the cake will stick and not rise properly).
  3. Place the lemon rind in the lemon juice to soak.
  4. In a mixer, beat the cheese while adding the sugar and vanilla, which will soften the cheese a bit.  The cheese should be very thoroughly beaten until absolutely smooth.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating only enough to incorporate.  Add the lemon rind and juice.
  6. Pour the batter into the buttered inner pan, put 1" of boiling water into the outer pan and then add the inner pan.  The water must come at least half-way up the inner pan.  Bake for 1 1/2 hours.  The cake will rise almost 2" above the top of the iner pan.  Remove and place on a rack to cool.  The cake will shrink.
  7. When cool, invert the cake over a place.  If the cake is cool and the pan was buttered, the cake iwll come out cleanly; otherwise, repair it.  Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs evenly over the bottom of the cake and invert again onto a serving plate.  Cover the cake with the topping either now or when first serving it.  Refrigerate at least 5 hours.  Serve cold.  The cake is best cut with a knife dipped in hot water.  Freezes perfectly.


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