Today is National Cheesecake Day. When I was a girl, I thought Cheesecake was the most amazing, classy dish on the planet. While I still love a good cheesecake, I realize they aren’t really a dessert reserved for the upper crust of social circles.
Let me explain – as a girl the only time I ever saw cheesecake was when my mother’s sister and her husband would come through town. They were both successful doctors. When they passed through, they took the entire family out to dinner. These were fancy places in San Francisco with real linens, crystal and silver on the tables. The stern looking man in tuxedo guarded the door and showed you to your table. There were people swiftly moving about, making sure your every dining need was satisfied. It was amazing to watch the skill and precession of the waitstaff. And it was here that I first was introduced to cheesecake.
I’ve since discovered that cheesecakes aren’t exclusive to Five Star Dining. You can get a nice cheesecake from the bakery inside your grocery store. They even come frozen. Better yet, cheesecakes aren’t all that complicated to make right at home. All you need do is elevate the presentation and there you are – dining in style. Have a wonderful National Cheesecake Day!
Note: Let eggs come to room temperature and the cream cheese to soften before beginning.
Fruit Garnished Vanilla Cheesecake
Graham Cracker Crust
2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/2 cup Butter
1/4 cup Sugar
Heat oven to 325. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
Place cracker crumbs in a mixing bowl. Melt butter, drizzle over crumbs. Add sugar. Gently mix with a fork. Empty crust mixture into the prepared pan. Using a small measuring cup, press crust into the bottom and an inch or so up the sides of the springform pan. Set aside.
Cream Cheese Filling
4 large Eggs
4 (8 oz) packages Cream Cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups Sugar
3 tablespoons Vanilla
Pinch of Salt
In a small bowl, lightly beat eggs. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in vanilla and salt. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until blended. Pour into crust. Place on a baking sheet.
Bake in the heated oven until center is almost set, about 55 minutes or so.
Remove from oven; let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen sides from pan with a knife. Cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate for several hours to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
1 cup Raspberries
1 cup Blueberries
Mint Leaves as desired
Remove springform side from around the cheesecake. Transfer the cheesecake to a serving platter. Slice into 12 serving slices. Top with fresh berries and a few mint leaves for a splash of bright color just before serving.