Vanilla Cheese Cake

There is a certain joy when you find a recipe that delivers a perfect product every time. You don’t have to worry about it. You know your guest are going to love it, so you can relax. I know that that there are thousands of cheese cake recipes out there, but this one is the quintessential vanilla cheese cake. With each bite your focus goes right to the creamy texture. The flavor is not over powered by vanilla or sugary sweetness. I definitely suggest serving it with a tart raspberry sauce.

One year I got a bee in my bonnet and decided to enter five different cakes in the county fair. They all got blue ribbons, but this one took Best in Show. This recipe comes from Rosalee Hodges of West Virginia.

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
½ cup butter softened

4-8oz pkg Philadelphia cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
6 eggs

2 cups sour cream (do not use reduced fat)
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease the bottom of 10” spring form pan. Combine together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and softened butter. Press the crust into the pan. Bake for five minutes at 350. Let the crust cool on a rack while you mix together the filling. Beat the cream cheese in a stand mixer until smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla and mix on medium speed for one minute. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each. Pour the filling over the crust. Wrap the bottom of the pan with two layers aluminum foil and set it in a roasting pan. The double layer of aluminum foil will protect against any water seeping into your pan. Pour ½ inch of hot water into the roasting pan to create a water bath to keep the cheese cake from cracking while baking. Bake for 40 minutes. Discard the water bath and cool the cake for 15 minutes. Make the topping by mixing together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla and pour it carefully over the cake. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Chill 12 to 24 hours. Remove the sides of the spring form pan. Serve with fresh fruit. I highly recommend serving this with raspberry sauce.

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