Basic Baked Cheesecake With Variations

Course : Cheesecakes
Serves: 12
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Ingredients:

---GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST---
11 whole graham crackers -- (22 squares)
1/4 cup butter or margarine -- melted
2 tablespoons sugar
---GINGERSNAP CRUST---
28 pieces gingersnap cookies
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
---COOKIES N CREAM CRUST---
16 pieces creme-filled chocolate sandwich cookies
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon sugar
---PRALINE CRUST---
12 pieces pecan shortbread cookies
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
---FILLING---
40 ounces cream cheese -- softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
---BERRY TOPPING---
2 pints strawberries -- hulled and sliced
1/2 cup raspberries
---GLISTENING GRAPE---
1 cup mixed red and green grapes
---PERFECT PLUM---
3 large plums -- sliced
---tropical delight---
3 large navel oranges
2 medium kiwi -- peeled and sliced
---STARS AND STRIPES---
1/2 pint strawberries -- hulled and halved
1 cup blueberries or blackberries
 

Preparation / Directions:

Use a food processor to crush the crackers/cookies into crumbs (or crush by hand). Add the butter and sugar; process to mix. Press onto the base of a 9-inch springform pan. Chill. Beat cream cheese on medium-high for 2 minutes. Blend in sugar. Add the flour and beat until combined. On low speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time, just until blended, scraping sides of bowl often. Add the sour cream, lemon peel and vanilla and heat just until blended. Pour over crust in pan. Bake at 325'F for 1 1/4 hours. Turn the oven off and place a wooden spoon in oven door to keep it open. Let cheesecake sit 1 hour. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Run a knife around sides. Cover; chill for 6 hours or overnight. Remove the pan sides. Slide the cheesecake onto a serving plate. Add Topping of your choice. BERRY TOPPING: overlap the strawberries in circles on the cheesecake. Fill the center with the raspberries. GLISTENING GRAPE TOPPING: Arrange about 1 cup mixed halved seedless red and green grapes in alternate circles on top of cheesecake. PERFECT PLUM: Arrange 3 large sliced plums in overlapping circles on top of the cheesecake, starting at outside edge. Decorate with a sprig of fresh mint. TROPICAL DELIGHT: Peel and section 3 large navel oranges. Arrange in a circle around edge of cheesecake. Fill the center with 2 peeled and sliced kiwis. STARS AND STRIPES: Arrange 1/2 pint hulled strawberries, cut in half, with 1 cup blueberries or blackberries in alternate rows on top of cheesecak


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