48 ounce bricks (904g)cream cheeseroom temperature
1tablespoonvanilla bean paste or extract(or your choice of flavoring)
Prepare and Bake the Graham Cracker Crust
Preheat your oven to 350°F.Add the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter to a mixing bowl. Stir until combined. When finished, the crumbs should hold together when clenched in your fist. If the mix is too loose- it crumbles when you release your grip- add more butter, a tablespoon at a time. If the mix oozes butter when squeezed, add more crumbs by the tablespoonful.
After the crust has been mixed, press it into a 9" springform pan using the bottom of your measuring cup. Press the crumb mixture into an even layer on the bottom of the pan, then guide the crust about a 1/4" up the sides of the pan to create a side crust. Pack the crust by pressing firmly to ensure the crust won't break when you serve the cheesecake.
Place the crust-lined pan into the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. After baking, remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool to the touch. Once the pan is cool enough to handle, carefully wrap the bottom and sides in two layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Set the pan aside while you prepare the cheesecake batter.
Mix the Cheesecake Batter
Set a pot, filled with 5-6 cups of water, to boil on the stove. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, with your mixer on low speed, blend together the cream cheese and granulated sugar. After the cream cheese and sugar come together, increase the mixing speed to medium and beat until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down both the beaters and the bowl twice during mixing.
After 2 minutes, scrape down the bowl once again. Add the eggs to the mixture, one at a time. After each egg addition, mix the batter on medium speed for 30 seconds, before scraping everything down. Continue adding the eggs, blending, and scraping down until all the eggs have been mixed in. Mix the batter after all the eggs have been added for 1 minute.
Add the vanilla bean paste (or extract) to the batter, then blend it in on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the cornstarch to the batter and blend on low speed for 30 seconds, or until it's mixed in. Scrape down the bowl and beaters once more and blend on low for 15 seconds. Do not overmix the batter after the cornstarch has been added or the cheesecake will become gummy.
Bake, then Cool the Cheesecake
Pour the cheesecake batter into the foil-wrapped springform pan. Set this pan into a larger pan and carefully pour the water you boiled earlier into the outer pan. Try to avoid splashing water into the cheesecake batter as it could interfere with the custard's baking.
Carefully slide the larger pan, with the cheesecake pan inside, into the preheated oven and bake for one hour. Take care not to splash the water into the cheesecake.
After the cheesecake has baked for an hour, turn the oven off and prop the oven door open 1-2 inches. You can use a wooden spoon to hold the door open if necessary. Allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for 1 hour before removing it.
After you've removed the pan(s) from the oven, take the cheesecake pan out of thelarger pan.Remove the foil from the cheesecake pan, then the cheesecake to cool to room temperature on the counter.
Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate it, still in the pan, for a minimum of 6 hours, but preferably overnight.
After chilling in the fridge for several hours, remove the pan's collar and slice the cheesecake.After cutting, press pieces of parchment or wax paper directly against any exposed parts of the cheesecake to prevent it from drying out. Store this cheesecake in the fridge for up to 3 days.