1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter (optional)
2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 large eggs, at room temperature
½ teaspoon orange zest
3/4 cup cream, half & half, or whole milk
For the crust: In a small bowl, mix 1 cup graham cracker crumbs with 1 tablespoon sugar. (If you like you can add a tablespoon melted butter to the mix for a more moist the crust.) Place 2 tablespoons sweetened crumbs in each of seven 1/2-pint Mason jars. Press down lightly.
For the mixture: Cream together the cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, eggs, orange zest and cream until smooth, but be careful not to overmix. Put batter into a pitcher for easier pouring and fill each jar 3/4 full with batter.
Place jars in a 8 qt slowcooker. Fill the crockpot with water until it reached about ½ way to the jars (also called a warm bath or bain marie. (To make sure you don’t get water in the cheesecakes, place tops back on batter and then remove after pouring.) Cover slow cooker with lid and allow for cooking for 1-2 hours. (It’s all about how your crockpot cooks.)
To check for doneness, use a knife and insert from outer edge and check that the knife comes out moist, but clean.
Turn off the slowcook cooker and allow the jars to cook for 20 minutes before removing. After placing on rack, allow the jars to rest at room temperatures for an hour before sealing. Then chill in the fridge for several hours before serving.
Add your favorite topping like macerated strawberries sprinkled with sugar.