Easy Baked Cheesecake
Never mind the sour cream, farmer's cheese, cream cheese, water bath, and worrying about a sunken center. The filling for this delicious cheesecake has just four simple ingredients, and the cake bakes for a mere 30 minutes. Now THAT'S easy!
|1 1/2 cups||graham cracker crumbs|
|1/4 cup||confectioners' sugar|
|1/3 cup||(5 2/3 tablespoons) melted butter|
|2 cups||(2 large packages) cream cheese, at room temperature|
|1 teaspoon||vanilla extract|
|12 ounces||bag frozen raspberries, a scant 3 cups, drain off some juice if needed|
|1 to 3||tablespoons sugar, to taste|
|pinch of ground cinnamon, optional|
|sweetened whipped cream, optional|
Select a pie pan whose inside top dimension is at least 9", and whose height is at least 1 1/4". Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Make the crust by stirring together all of the crust ingredients, mixing till thoroughly combined.
Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan.
Make the filling by mixing together all of the filling ingredients till smooth. Use a mixer set at low-medium speed. If your cream cheese is at room temperature, this will go fairly smoothly (pun intended). If the cream cheese is cold, it'll take much more mixing to create a smooth filling.
Set the pie pan onto a baking sheet, if desired; this makes it easier to transport in and out of the oven, and also protects the bottom of the crust from any potential scorching. Pour the filling into the crust.
Place the cheesecake in the oven. Bake it for 20 minutes, then add a crust shield; or shield the crust with strips of aluminum foil. Bake for an additional 10 minutes (for a total of about 30 minutes). An instant-read thermometer inserted into the crust 1" from the edge should read between 165°F and 170°F; the filling won't look entirely set in the center.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven, and set it on a rack to cool while you make the topping. Once the cake is cool, refrigerate it, covered, till you're ready to serve it.
To make the topping, place the frozen raspberries in a bowl to thaw. You can hasten the process with a quick trip through the microwave, but don't let the berries cook.
Add 1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, to taste.
Stir in a pinch of ground cinnamon, if desired.
Spoon the topping over the cheesecake, and cut slices to serve. Alternatively, cut slices, and top each with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream.
Yield: one 9" cheesecake, 8 to 10 servings.