40ouncescream cheese at room temperature (five 8 oz. packages; 2 1/2 lbs total)
1 1/4cupsgranulated sugar
1/2cupsour cream at room temperature
4large eggs at room temperature
any desired cheesecake toppings
Place oven racks in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
Stir graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter together. The mixture should look like damp sand. Press mixture into the bottom and halfway up the 9-inch springform pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to make this easier. Bake for 7 minutes then set aside to cool.
Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
To make the cheesecake filling, stir the softened cream cheese with sugar. Mix in vanilla and sour cream. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again, do this until there are no lumps.
In a separate bowl, whisk room temperature eggs together. With the mixer on slow add them to the cheesecake filling. Once the eggs are incorporated turn the mixer off. If lumpy, scrape the sides of the bowl again and mix by hand, we want lump-free batter.
Tap the bowl on the counter for 30-45 seconds to remove any air bubbles. Pour batter into the springform pan. Smooth the top.
Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, then reduce to 250 degrees and bake for another 45 minutes.
Turn oven off but keep the cheesecake inside, with the door closed, for another 30 minutes. Then crack the oven door open and continue cooling for another hour before removing. The cheesecake should be slightly warm at this point. Bring to room temperature on the counter (3-4 hours) before covering with plastic wrap and chilling in the fridge.
Refrigerate until completely chilled (6 hours-overnight).
To serve, remove the springform pan collar. Decorate as desired. Dip a sharp knife in hot water, wipe off excess water, and slice. Dip the knife between each slice for super clean cuts.
Want a thicker graham cracker crust? Use 1 3/4 cups of graham cracker crumbs, 5 tbsp of sugar and 6 tbsp of melted butter. Press into pan and bake for 8 minutes.