Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
A creamy vanilla cheesecake with vanilla bean specks
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 vanilla bean pod
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1. Combine crust ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until well-mixed. Press crumbs into a greased 9-inch springform pan, working crumbs up the sides of the pan if desired. Bake crust at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
2. Place softened cream cheese into a large bowl.
3. Scrape the soft inside seeds out of the vanilla bean. In a small bowl, stir the vanilla bean seeds into the sugar until evenly dispersed. Add cornstarch and mix well.
4. Add sugar mixture to cream cheese; beat with mixer on medium-low until smooth (about 2 minutes).
5. Crack eggs into a separate bowl; add eggs one at a time to the filling mixture, beating on low speed and scraping down the sides after adding each egg. Add sour cream and vanilla extract.
6. Pour mixture into prepared crust. Bake at 325 degrees for 80-90 minutes or until almost set. Sides should be set with a slight rippling effect at the center of the cake (the cake will completely set as it cools and is refrigerated).
7. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. After 30-60 minutes you can remove the springform; you may need to run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake. After cooled, place cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight before serving.
You can top this cheesecake with fruit if desired! :)
You can also use the leftover vanilla bean pods to make vanilla-flavored sugar, by putting them in with your sugar for a while. :)
30 minutes (+ chilling time)
This is a delicious, creamy vanilla cheesecake! I love the real-vanilla flavor, and seeing the vanilla bean specks in the cheesecake adds a gourmet element to an already-yummy cheesecake. :) My rating: 9/10 -- taste is excellent, but our cheesecake did crack on the top. I ate mine with cherry pie filling on top, so the crack didn't matter, but if you want a perfect-looking cheesecake, well, this one didn't turn out perfectly for us. Very yummy though!! :)