I baked a surprisingly good cheesecake last weekend, and it was rather easy.
I mainly followed the Joy of Cooking recipe for "cheesecake cockaigne", though I left out the sour cream topping, and that was just fine with my husband, kids, and me.
The crust was supposed to be graham cracker, but I couldn't find any when we started this, so we ground up oat-flake-cluster cereal with corn flakes. (The kids had fun squishing the crumbs in the cereal bag, by rubbing a mug over it.) Then I noticed that the tub of cream cheese that I thought we needed to use up and thus the reason for the start of the project wasn't full at all--in fact we didn't have enough cream cheese, so we shelved the crumbs until I had purchased more cream cheese and actual graham crackers.
So the crust was about 2/3 ground up cereal flakes and 4 graham crackers--to make 2 cups of crumbs.
I mixed it with just enough slices of softened butter in a glass pie plate until I could smoosh it around the edges into a crust. Baked it at 350 F while making the cheese filling.
The recipe for graham cracker crust called for adding sugar, but that seemed ridiculous, so I ignored it.
The cheesecake filling was a mixture of whipped cream cheese, regular cream cheese, a bit of cottage cheese and 2/3 pound packet of "neufchatel" lowfat cream cheese. It was supposed to be one and a half pounds of cream cheese. I'm not sure how close I came to that amount.
The recipe's cup of sugar seemed too much, so I added about 4/5 cup.
Then whipped it all together with the marvelous Kitchenaid mixer (so happy to have purchased one at last!)
I added the 3 "large" eggs, one at a time like the instructions said.
The recipe called for almond or vanilla extract. Almond sounded better, but I couldn't find any, so added vanilla. Then a dollop of real maple syrup.
Blended it so that it was mixed and poured it into the pie plate. Turned the oven temp up to 400 F. Baked about 40 minutes.
It came out light, fluffy, kind of like a cheese souffle.
And what remained was still good days later when taken out of the fridge.
Definitely didn't need a sour cream topping. Would be a nice thing to take to a party.