- For the crust:
- 4 ounces salted pretzels
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for baking pan
- For the filling:
- 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or Triple Sec
- 1 tablespoon tequila
- 1 tablespoon grated lime zest
- 4 large eggs
Preheat oven to 375° with rack in center.
Make the crust: Butter a 9 1/2 inch springform pan; set aside.
In a food processor, pulse pretzels to fine crumbs. Add sugar and butter; process until combined.
Press evenly into bottom and slightly up sides (about 1 inch) of the springform pan.
Place on a baking sheet.
Bake until light golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Reduce oven to 325°.
Prepare filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl to eliminate any lumps, about 1 minute.
Add sour cream, sugar, Grand Marnier, tequila, and lime zest; beat until smooth.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating to combine after each addition.
Pour into cooled crust (filling will come up higher than crust.) Line outside of pan with aluminum foil (to prevent water from seeping in).
Place in a roasting pan.
Pour hot water to come halfway up sides of springform pan.
Bake until set and slightly firm to the touch, about 1 hour.
Remove from water bath, and let cool on a wire rack; refrigerate until chilled, about 4 hours. Run a hot knife around edge of pan to release.
The secret to preventing the top of the cheesecake from falling and cracking is to bake it in a hot water bath, which lets the cake cook gently and evenly.