I made a cheesecake this weekend for a progressive dinner and ended up having about three-fourths of it left. This cheesecake is so good, though, that I never mind having leftovers. Here's the recipe:
Best Cheesecake Ever
3/4 cup coarsely ground walnuts
3/4 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons melted butter
4, 8-ounce packages cream cheese (regular, not light!)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Canned fruit pie filling, if desired
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly butter 9" springform pan.
For crust: Grind walnuts and graham cracker crumbs in food processor or blender. Mix in melted butter and press onto bottom of pan.
Filling: Blend cream cheese in food processor until smooth. Add eggs, lemon juice and vanilla and process thoroughly, stopping to scrape sides and bottom at least once. Pour over crust. Bake 10" cake 40-45 minutes; 9" cake 50-55 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes.
Topping: Mix sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate. When cake is done, spoon over top, return to oven and bake 5 minutes more. Let cool and refrigerate at least 24 hours, or up to 2-3 days before serving.
If you like, you can top with canned fruit pie filling or fresh fruit before serving. I like it with cherry pie filling, but fresh strawberries and fresh raspberries are also particularly good.
Note: When I say to use a food processor for the filling, I really mean it. It makes a huge difference in the texture of the cheesecake. However, if that's not an option for you, a regular mixer will do. Just so you know, I'm using a hand-me-down Cuisinart from the 1970s and it does a fine job. It might be worth keeping an eye out for a used one at garage sales and thrift stores.