How to make a half-size cheesecake
A whole big heavy full-sized cheesecake has so many calories. And face it, if there's half a cheesecake left over and you stick it in the refrigerator, it's going to get eaten.
I didn't find a recipe online for what I wanted - a half-sized cheesecake - so I figured it out for myself and it was perfect.
And very easy.
After I made two half-size cheesecakes in a 1-quart baking dish, I splurged and bought a 7" springform pan. A 6" pan would also work, you would have to cook it a little longer at a little lower heat.
1-1/4 cup of crushed graham crackers (about one of the three wrapped portions inside a graham-cracker box)
1/4 cup sugar
a dash of salt
1/4 cup of butter
You don't really need this much crust but in my family people like a lot.
I crush the cookies in my food processor but you can pound them flat inside a gallon-sized ziplock bag too. Don't use low-fat graham crackers, they won't hold together well. Some people add cinnamon but I don't like it in this recipe.
I melted the butter and added the rest of the ingredients and pressed them carefully against the aluminum foil lining of my casserole (and then against the edges of my springform baking tin when I got it yesterday), and pushed them up the sides as far as they would go. It's recommended to chill the crust for half an hour but I didn't bother and it turned out fine.
12 ounces of cream cheese (that's one and a half of the big size or three of the small size) you can use non-fat creamcheese and it will turn out fine!
1/2 cup of sugar plus 1 tablespoon which is added to the sourcream topping
2 teaspoons of vanilla
dash of salt
8 ounces of sour cream
They say cheesecakes turn out better if you don't mix them too vigorously - I had all the ingredients at room temperature and first beat the sugar into the cream cheese (with the dash of salt).
Then I mixed in the two eggs and one teaspoon of vanilla by hand and poured it into the casserole.
Shake your cheesecake gently to settle it and then bake it at 330 degrees for about 35 minutes. You want it not all the way cooked - you want it jiggly for about three inches in the center.
Pull the cheesecake out of the oven and let it cool for five minutes. Meanwhile, stir the other teaspoon of vanilla and the one tablespoon of sugar into the sour cream.
Mix the sourcream, vanilla, and sugar and drop by dollops onto the hot cheesecake. spread them into a thin, even layer.
Put it back in the oven for another ten minutes. Then turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in there for an hour or three before putting it in the refrigerator. These small cheesecakes never crack.