DEAR MELBA: Here is a recipe for Cherry Cheesecake that my mother made often when I was growing up. I have two grown sons, and it's absolutely their favorite dessert. I make it for holidays and it's requested for every birthday celebration. Our oldest son even requested it for his college graduation party.
It's simple to prepare and may be made, without the addition of the fruit, and frozen ahead of time. When needed, just thaw it, spread with the fruit and enjoy. I always double the recipe and bake it in a 9-by-13-inch pan in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. It's also simple to substitute blueberry pie filling for the cherry pie filling, if desired.
11/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup melted margarine or butter
1 package (11 ounces) cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
Prepared whipped topping
• To prepare the crust, combine the cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar, and margarine. Press over bottom of a 9-inch-square baking dish.
• In large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour over the crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool and spread with pie filling. Top with prepared whipped topping.