Cheesecake is one of my dad’s favorite desserts. Whenever we have a get together or a family dinner, he always *hints* that it would be nice to have something for dessert. I know exactly what he is talking about. It’s not something, it’s cheesecake. Luckily for me, it is also one of the easiest for dinner parties. Since it has to chill, you are guaranteed not to be baking while everyone else is socializing. If you are, you won’t be having cheesecake for dessert…you will be having cheesecake for breakfast!
This recipe is extra simple because it doesn’t require many ingredients (fewer things to forget at the store!) and you don’t need to bake it in a water bath. You could, it would make it extra silky and smooth but you don’t have to. Another plus for me since I don’t actually have a roasting pan big enough to sit a 9″ springform inside of anyway! It is a really tasty, basic vanilla cheesecake so you have to dress it up with the toppings. I like to use my homemade mango jam as a glaze or sometimes I will get fancy and arrange sliced fruit in some fancy pattern. For our latest dinner party adventure I ran out of time and decided to go simple and throw a bunch of whipped cream and fresh berries on it. I had actually planned to make some nice topping but got caught up in my weekend activities.
I baked the cheesecake Saturday night and had every intention of making a gorgeous topping on Sunday morning…then I woke up Sunday morning and decided that I would have time to go for a hike beforehand. A couple of hours turned into a few which turned into most of the day! After days of heavy rain showers and flooding, a few friends and I thought it we could beat the clouds and see a great view off the Kuliouou Ridge Trail. Let’s just say that didn’t exactly happen.
Even with the rain and the clouds, it was a great trip. Sometimes, you need to be reminded that it is the journey not the final destination that is important. Many laughs, lots of falling in the mud, and tons of silly photos kept our group happy and smiling from start to finish. All our dawdling for pictures did mean that I had to make a quick topping on the fly for my cheesecake. As usual, my Costco over buying came to my rescue! Berries and whipped cream were a hit and the evening was a perfect success. Another hint well taken.
Happy adventuring in and out of the kitchen! ~ Molly
- 3 cups cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ¼ cup sugar
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 6 tbsp butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350* F
- Prepare the crust – In a food processor, combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, pinch of salt, ¼ cup of sugar; pulse until combined; press into a 9” springform pan; bake 8-10 minutes, until golden; cool on a wire rack
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling – In a food processor, pulse cream cheese until smooth; add eggs, 1 cup sugar, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt; pulse until smooth
- Pour filling into cooled crust; bake for 45-50 minutes; cool completely and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours