For the crust you'll need:
1 package of graham crackers ($.40)
3 tablespoons of sugar ($.15)
3 tablespoons of melted margarine ($.07)
For the filling:
4 8-ounce boxes of cream cheese at room temperature($3.92)
1 cup sour cream ($.65)
1 cup white sugar ($.80)
4 eggs ($.27)
3 tablespoons flour ($.07)
1 tablespoon vanilla ($.05)
Rough total for ingredients $6.38 (a whole cheesecake around here would cost $25)
Preheat the oven to 325. Crush your graham crackers to equal one cup of crumbs. I use my food processor.
Mix with melted margarine and sugar.
Then press into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan.
Bake for 10 minutes and remove from oven.
Set oven to 450 degrees and cream together cheese, sugar and flour.
Add eggs one at a time.
Slowly blend in sour cream and vanilla.
Pour into crust.
TRICK NUMBER ONE:
Put an ovenproof pan of water on the bottom rack and put your cheesecake on the top rack. The moisture will keep the top of your cheesecake from cracking during cooking time.
Bake for 10 minutes and then turn oven to 250 degrees and bake for one hour.
After one hour, the cheesecake will look pale and jiggle in the middle. Everything in you will tell you to cook it longer but really, it's done.
TRICK NUMBER TWO:
Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for one more hour. Don't remove it. This will keep the center of your cheesecake from falling and leaving a higher rim around the edges.
Remove from oven when timer goes off and set on a cooling rack.
TRICK NUMBER THREE:
Take a sharp knife and carefully slide it around the edges to loosen the cake. Otherwise when you release the sides of your pan, it could pull on the cake and cause a crack in the top.
Now release the sides of the pan and let cool completely.
Chill for several hours or until ready to serve and top with your favorite topping.
It's really that simple and cheap!
I tried to capture a picture of the finished product but my flash bleached out the picture and I had a crew of 5 hungry people who didn't want to wait while I tried to solve it. But here it is...
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