Maui Girl Cooks

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” Luciano Pavarotti

Sharon’s Quick & Easy Vanilla Cheesecake

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“Because you don’t live near a bakery doesn’t mean you have to go without cheesecake.”  Hedy Lamarr

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou {Happy New Year} to all of you wonderful Maui Girl Cooks readers! Hope you are ready to move into a brand new year.   It’s hard to believe 2015 is here; it seems like Y2K was just a couple of years ago.  I am planning to add some new features to Maui Girl Cooks, which I hope you will enjoy and find useful.  

Before I became a teacher, I worked at Stanford University Medical Center.  It was at Stanford that I acquired several excellent recipes {3 to be exact}.  One recipe is for apple crisp, and while I don’t remember what made it so delicious, I just remember that it was.  The recipe is in our storage unit in Washington, with the rest of our belongings that didn’t come to Maui, and when it makes the journey across the Pacific,  I will make this delicious apple crisp again and tell you all about it.  Another recipe is one that I have been improving upon, and will share with you very soon; it is for a delicious molasses cookie which everyone seems to love.  My tweaked recipe no longer resembles the original, that while delicious, isn’t as good as my new version.  The last recipe was for this cheesecake, and I got it from a nurse named Lyni.  It  does not have a crust, which I think is just fine.  This cheesecake is all about the cream cheese and the sour cream topping.  While I enjoy a nice tall piece of cheesecake as much as the next person, my cheesecake is short, tangy and sweet.  Hope you enjoy it!

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Sharon’s Quick & Easy Vanilla Cheesecake

Cake:

2 8-oz. packages Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

3 large eggs

Beat softened cream cheese, sugar & vanilla until smooth and lump-free.  Scrape the sides of the bowl, as needed, to ensure that you are not leaving any lumps on the side that will end up in your cake {not a tragedy if you have a few lumps, but better to be smooth}.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each one is incorporated.

Pour mixture into 9” pie pan that has been greased or sprayed with pan spray.  Bake at 325 degrees for 50”.  The cake will be puffed up and lightly browned.  As the cake sits, the center will fall.  Set cake aside to cool {does not need to go into refrigerator}.

Topping:

1 cup sour cream

3 heaping tbsp granulated sugar

Dash vanilla 

Mix topping ingredients together and spread over cooled cake.  Bake at 325 degrees for 15”.  Chill overnight.

Notes:

  • I used full fat cream cheese & full fat sour cream. Please do not use fat free.  Since we eat very healthy 96.4% {or so} of the time, we use the real thing when it’s time to indulge.  Food scientists, in their “wisdom” have figured out how to add all kinds of chemicals to make reduced calorie food seem the same as the real thing. In my opinion, you are not saving that many calories to make it worth consuming the artificial additives.  Use your own judgement, but I’m going with real, whole food!
  • I am not always a brand-loyal shopper, but I have always used Philadelphia Cream Cheese {except the one time I tried another brand} because I think it’s the best.
  • One time, so long ago I don’t remember the exact details, I made this cake the same day I served it.  Perhaps I didn’t keep it in the refrigerator once we got it to my in-laws’ house, or perhaps I didn’t chill it enough after I made it, but it wasn’t as good as when chilled over night.  I know I made it in the morning, but that’s all I remember.  So, the moral is, plan ahead & make this cheesecake the day before you want to eat it.  You will be handsomely rewarded with a tangy, smooth & delicious dessert.

Bon appetit!

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