This cheesecake is a tradition on most holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas (Eve, Day, day after…), New Year’s Eve, Easter… our family just loves it and my mom is always asked to bring it to parties. We jokingly refer to it as my “Dad’s Cheesecake” because he made it one time, way back in high school in a culinary arts class, and that’s where the recipe originated. But everyone knows that my mom is the one who bakes it now…
Oh, is it difficult to read that recipe card? Well, my dad did graduate from high school back in 1975… Here’s the version my mom makes, with her notes added.
- 1-3/4 cups fine graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 cup butter or margine, melted
Thoroughly mix ingredients for crust. Press on bottom and sides of 9-in. springform pan.
- 3 well beaten eggs
- 2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup cugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt (again, I usually skip this)
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 3 cups dairy sour cream
Mix cream cheese and sugar (easiest with an electric mixer). Add eggs, salt, vanilla and almond extract. Beat until smooth. Blend in sour cream. Pour into crumb crust. Bake at 375 degrees for about 40-45 minutes (or longer or just until set). (Sometimes I leave it in the oven with the heat turned off for 15-30 mins. after the initial baking time, to get it set.) Chill thoroughly, about 4-5 hours or overnight. (Important–although most baked treats are best warm–cheesecake isn’t!)
Top with a thin layer of sour cream to hide any cracks and add your favorite fruit. We like fresh raspberries and blackberries, but strawberries, blueberries and cherries are delicious, too!
And a note from me: My springform pan is leaky, so I wrap it in foil or put it on a baking sheet to prevent drips of cheesecake batter from splattering in my oven and smoking up my house. Enjoy!