Although we always called this a holiday cheesecake, I think it appeared many times at dessert time on ordinary days of the week. Naturally, any time cheesecake showed up after dinner, could be declared a holiday!
EASY HOLIDAY CHEESECAKE
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
⅓ cup granulated sugar
½ cup melted butter or margarine
Combine above ingredients and press into a spring-form pan. The crust should come more than halfway to the top of the pan. Refrigerate until ready to use. Pan requirement: seven to nine-inch spring form pan.*
3 8-oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups granulated sugar
Place softened cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. using an electric mixer, beat at medium speed until cream cheese is thoroughly creamed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is well combined. Add vanilla. While running the mixer gradually add sugar, beating well. Mixture should be thick and smooth. Carefully spoon mixture into crust. smoothing evenly.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 50 minutes. Top will brown and crack. Cool and refrigerate eight hours or overnight before serving.
You can strike a festive note by spooning a puree of strawberries over each serving and garnishing with a mint sprig. Crushed pineapple also compliments cheesecake. Prepare about an hour ahead, a cup and a half of crushed pineapple combined with the zest of a lemon. Spoon over individual slices just before serving.
*A spring form pan is pictured above. Walmart usually sells them, three to a set for a budget-friendly price considering how often you will be baking cheesecake now!