I am surprised I have not yet shared this cheesecake recipe - it is a family favorite. I got it from my mom, who got it from her sister, my crafty Aunt Nancy, who got it from .... who knows. I wouldn't be shocked if she came up with the recipe herself. Nancy has many talents and is a great cook (I posted her unbelievable dinner roll recipe here).
1 3/4 C graham cracker crumbs
1/2 C sugar
1 stick of butter, melted
Combine and press into a spring-form pan (bottom and about an inch up the side).
Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until it starts to brown.
3 eight oz. packages of cream cheese - cream until soft in mixer
add 5 large eggs and beat until smooth
Add: 1 C sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and a dash of salt
Mix until well combined. The recipe says to beat at least 10 minutes, which I know breaks the cardinal rule of making cheesecakes (don't overbeat the batter). However, I'm not one to argue with family recipes - I beat it for 10-15 minutes or until my arm is about to fall off, whichever happens first.
Pour into the cooled crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until the top browns and the center isn't jiggly. Check often after the 45 minute mark, but try to resist checking earlier. Cool for about 20 minutes.
Sour cream topping:
Mix 1 1/2 C sour cream, 1/3 C sugar and 1 tsp vanilla
Pour on top of the cheesecake and bake an additional 10 minutes.
Chill at least 4 hours, but overnight is best. Top with your favorite fruit and devour.
I typically use a large springform pan (12 inches, I think??), but for the cheesecake pictured above, I used a small, 8" pan. This left a lot of extra crust and batter ... perfect to experiment with cheesecake cupcakes!
I followed all the same steps, and surprisingly did not have to reduce the baking time by much. I just kept watching until the top was browning.
Pretty darn cute, right? I think these would be fun to serve at a baby shower/bridal shower/[insert your excuse to party here].