I absolutely love to make cheesecake. Some things I have learned over the past years of trying are to let the ingredients to come to a room temperature. I recommend taking the refrigerated ingredients (mascarpone, cream cheese, eggs) out of the refrigerator a couple hours before you start making the cheesecake. If the cream cheese and/or mascarpone cheeses are still not at room temperature (~70F) after a couple hours, microwave them for brief intervals until the desired temperature is reached. If your ingredients are not at room temperature, you will not have a creamy cheesecake. 

And another secret is- Don’t overbeat. This recipe takes a lot of patience, and waiting for the cheeses to become creamy is one of those times. You will be tempted to increase the mixing speed to speed up the process, but this will whip too much air into the batter, which will cause the cake to puff up, sink, shrink, and crack. Believe me, been there and done that. Therefore, you want to stop beating as soon as the batter is smooth and creamy. 

Water bath. The water bath is one of the most foolproof methods to making a cheesecake. 

Low and slow. To help prevent cracking from overbaking, bake the cheesecake at a low temperature for a long time. This will help to ensure even baking.

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 16 full sheet graham crackers)
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, finely ground
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, ROOM TEMPERATURE
  • 16 ounces mascarpone, ROOM TEMPERATURE
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 eggs, ROOM TEMPERATURE

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9 inch springform pan: place the pan on a piece of parchment paper, and trace the bottom with a pencil. Cut out the circle. Measure the height of the springform pan. 
  • Cut out a long strip (or a couple shorter ones) that has the same width as the pan’s height – this will circle the inside of the pan. Lightly spray the springform pan with nonstick spray. Line the bottom and side with the cutout parchment paper. Press down so it sticks to the spray, then lightly spray with nonstick spray again. Tightly wrap the pan with 3 sheets of tin foil. 
  • This will prevent leaking in the water bath and help to insulate the cheesecake. Set aside.
  • In a food processor, blend together the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter. Mix until it resembles wet sand. Transfer to the lined springform pan. Push the crumb mixture evenly onto the bottom and slightly up the sides.
  • Bake for 10 min. Set aside to cool slightly as you make the filling. Reduce heat to 325F.
  • Now, beat the cream cheese and mascarpone on LOW for 5 minutes. Intermittently scrape down the sides and bottom. Increase to low-med for 1-2 minutes, until creamy and smooth.
  • Sift in the sugar and flour. 
  • Beat on low-medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom. Add the lemon juice and vanilla. Beat on low-medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom.
  • Boil a pot of water for the water bath.
  • With the mixer running on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time. Allow each egg to incorporate before adding the next. Once all the eggs have been incorporated, gently fold the mixture to ensure there are no remaining lumps.
  • Hit the bowl on the counter a couple times to remove any air bubbles.
  • Pour into the springform pan. Use an offset spatula to evenly smooth the top. Again, hit against the counter a couple times to remove any air bubbles.
  • Bake for 1 hour and 50 minutes, or until the edge is slightly puffy with a 2-3 inch wobbly spot in the middle. You want the cheesecake to jiggle slightly, with the center appearing soft. You don’t want the cheesecake to look soupy.
  • Turn off the oven, crack the oven door, and allow the cheesecake to cool for 1 hour inside the oven.
  • Transfer to a wire rack. Cool completely at room temperature.
  • Carefully release the sides of the pan and peal away the parchment paper from the edge.
  • To serve: allow the cheesecake to warm slightly before cutting.