I didn't forget. In fact, I so totally didn't forget that I've been putting this recipe off for a week because I just couldn't handle one more cheesecake. Then I started making it, separated 5 eggs, and suddenly had flashbacks. It was at that moment that I realised this cheesecake has the exact same ingredients in the exact same quantity as the first cheesecake I made in this unending saga. I panicked, tried to find a different recipe that would take 5 eggs, and couldn't.
So I proceeded, and boy, am I glad I did. I don't know if it's the fact that this cheesecake is any better than the first one I made, or just that I've gotten better at making cheesecakes, but this one is hands-down the best one I've made so far... though I have been on an upward trajectory for awhile, so I guess that's to be expected. Weirdly, this one is just typed up on a silky sheet of paper Judson informed me was mimeographed, and then tried to smell it to convince me that mimeography has a specific smell. I don't know if that's true, but here's what we did learn from his hands-on test: the smell of nicotine persists across generational divides. Ick.
Judson's friends, who have become my Official Cheesecake Taste-Testers, voted this one the best so far (and voted hard for it to be the only I transferred into my own permanent recipe box), so I know I'm not alone here. Also, I've been saving the best for last, but you guys, THIS CHEESECAKE CAME OUT OF THE OVEN WITHOUT A SINGLE CRACK! Those of you following along at home (and those of you who have ever tried making a cheesecake) will know that it's nearly impossible to get a cheesecake out of the oven with a smooth, crack-free top. My last one had cracks that ran so deep they hit the bottom crust, which is really just unreasonable, so I was particularly proud of this one.
Having now made basically this exact same cheesecake two times, I'll warn you to follow these directions exactly-- it really makes a difference! Specifically, make sure your ingredients are at room temperature, your egg whites are folded into the mixture until the entire mixture has a uniform consistency (for me, this was WAY MORE mixing than I thought was necessary, but it paid off in the end), and that there is a tray under your springform pan in the oven, lest you suffer a scorched oven floor.
But seriously. There's just something about enjoying a slice of cheesecake with your friends. The Golden Girls knew it, Eleanor knew it, and now I know it. It's so decadent and luxurious, but somehow still manages to be improved by the addition of girlfriends to share it with. I may be getting tired of cheesecakes, but I'll never get tired of sharing them with my friends. So if you, like the Golden Girls in the clip above, have watched Psycho or Jaws or It or The Ring and have scared yourself into staying awake all night, slice yourself a piece of cheesecake and put the kettle on for some tea. There's enough room at my kitchen table for all of us.
4 spoons out of five. Best cheesecake I've made so far, but I've got my eye on the prize here. Make this cheesecake for your next girls' night in, and your friends will never let you forget how delicious it is.
Perfect, Crustless Cheesecake
Start with first four ingredients at room temperature.
Grease springform pan.
Preheat oven to 176C/350F.
Whip egg whites until stiff, then set aside.
Mix cream cheese, sour cream, and ricotta until well blended.
Add sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Add egg yolks and mix until smooth again.
Fold beaten egg whites into mixture and beat just until smooth.
Pour mixture into pan, set it on a cookie sheet in case of drips, and cook for one hour.
Without opening oven door, shut off oven and leave for one additional hour.
5 medium eggs, separated
16 oz cream cheese
16 oz sour cream
15 oz ricotta
1 ½ c sugar
4 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp vanilla