This is kind of a cheater recipe since it's basically cheesecake without the crust. What!? No butter soaked graham cracker crust? How can that still be a cheesecake?
To be honest, I wasn't sure how this cheesecake was going to turn out. It seemed too simple and like it would be a bit blah. It actually worked out great and was delicious without the crust. It's a perfect dessert for those who are gluten intolerant, but can have dairy. The cheesecake does not bake as high as a regular cheesecake, so it has a flan-like appearance, but the flavor is a bright and the texture is light and creamy.
3 x 8 ounce packages of cream cheese (must be room temp!)
3/4 c sour cream
3/4 c white sugar
Zest from 1 washed lemon
Coconut oil or butter for greasing pan
Preheat oven to 325. Grease a springform pan with your choice of butter or coconut oil. Wrap bottom of pan in a layer of aluminum foil (this helps keep water out of your pan during its "bath" in the oven).
In a standing mixture, beat cream cheese till smooth. It is essential that your cream cheese be room temperature. Cold cream cheese will form impossible to remove lumps when beaten; a mistake I have made many, many times when I was too impatient to wait. Now, when I am planning to make cheesecake, I will leave the blocks of cream cheese on the counter over night so that the chill is completely gone by the time I need to use them.
Add sour cream and white sugar to the mixture and beat until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time, making sure that they are incorporated, but do not overbeat. Mix in zest from one lemon.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Place pan in a larger pan that has been filled with about 1 1/2 inches of water. This is your bath for that dirty cheesecake. Apparently the bath of water helps create an even bake for the cheesecake and prevents cracks that sometime plague otherwise beautiful finished products.
Place everything in oven and bake for 75-90 minutes or until middle of cheesecake is set with just a bit of a wiggle. My cheesecake took exactly 75 minutes.
When set, remove from oven and carefully take out of water bath. Let cool on counter and then refrigerate till firm. Top with your choice of fruit; I used sliced fresh mango with blueberries.