I make a pretty mean cheesecake. And, I mean the real deal New York Style...more packages of cream cheese than should be legal, the springform pan, the water bath, etc. Most of the time I can even manage to keep the top from cracking. And, it's delicious. And it's usually for my husband.
He LOVES cheesecake. And I like to make it for him. But, given its rather complicated nature, I don't do so nearly as often as he would like.
Well, yesterday was his birthday, and our weekend was just packed. I knew I wanted to make him a cheesecake, but I didn't have nearly enough time for the "real" version. I turned to my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook and found a much quicker recipe, and I crossed my fingers and hoped it would be delicious. It went together in a matter of minutes (plus chilling the crust in the fridge briefly). It came out of the oven looking great. And, unfortunately, it had to chill overnight, so I couldn't yet determine how it tasted right away.
The verdict: it was fantastic. It wasn't so tall and pretty as the original. It didn't feed an army. But, it tasted good, and it's something I could throw together with ease most anytime. I guarantee my husband would take that anyday. (He's not big on complicated.)
I also put together a quick topping that was super yummy.
Here are both of those recipes:
Graham Cracker Crust
1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs (about 20 squares) - I might use a little less than this next time. The crust was fairly thick.
1/4 c. sugar
6 TB butter
Mix together crumbs, sugar and butter. Press firmly and evenly against the bottom and sides of an ungreased pie pan. Cover and refrigerate about 30 minutes or until firm.
2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl on medium speed until smooth. Gradually beat in sugar and vanilla until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
Pour the cheesecake filling into the crust and spread evenly. Bake about 40 minutes or until filling is nearly set (It was just a bit jiggly in the center still). Place pan on cooling rack. Let cool 30 minutes. Chill overnight in the refrigerator.
Triple Berry Topping
1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling
1 pint strawberries, sliced - I didn't quite use the whole pint, but you could.
1 small container (6 oz, I think) raspberries
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients. Chill until ready to serve cheesecake. I would recommend making this the same day you plan on serving the cheesecake, so that the berries will still have the right texture and not water down the sauce.