This is a simple, classic cheesecake but, to me, it is simply the best.

Because of my cooking shows and cookbooks, I’ve made hundreds of miscellaneous, multi-flavored cheesecakes. This one, from my dear friend Linda Hodges many years ago, remains my all time favorite. While it is rich and creamy, it has a lighter texture than many cheesecakes. You can get creative with most any topping, from a chocolate sauce to fresh seasonal berries and whipped cream.

For Valentine’s Day tomorrow, try raspberries or strawberries. They can be plain, sugared, glazed or even in a canned pie filling. The standout flavor is the yummy, smooth cheesecake with a delicious buttery graham cracker crust.

Here area few cheesecake tips:

  • Cheesecakes have a tendency to crack. That doesn’t bother me because I always serve mine with a topping. To help avoid the cracks, beat the cream cheese well to remove all the lumps before adding the eggs. Once you add the eggs, beat briefly and gently until blended
  • Another tip is to bake the cheesecake gently in a “hot water bath”. Wrap the bottom of the springform pan with foil. Then place it in a shallow, larger pan of hot water in the oven.
  • The cheesecake will still be a little wobbly in the center when the baking time is up. Don’t over bake. It will firm up while cooling down.

Tell Me: What’s your favorite cheesecake flavor?