Have you always wanted to make a cheesecake but been too intimidated to try? It doesn’t get much easier or more delicious than this simple, scrumptious recipe from Chef David Davenport.

Chef David Davenport
Bloomington Cooking School

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 stick salted butter, melted

1) Mix crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 3-4 minutes at 350°F, then set aside.

Juice and zest from 1 large lemon
1 tablespoon vanilla
7 large eggs, room temperature
2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cup sugar

1) Cream together the vanilla, zest, cream cheese, and sugar. Mix thoroughly until very fluffy.

2) With the mixer on a medium setting, add eggs one at a time, combining well.

3) Scrape down the bowl, add lemon juice, and beat on high for 30 seconds.

4) Pour the mixture into the crust, place the pan on a baking tray, and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. The cake will rise well above the edge of the pan.

5) Lower the oven temperature to 325°F and bake for an additional 45-50 minutes. Test with a knife; it should remove clean.

Optional topping
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar

1) While the cake is baking, combine sour cream and sugar.

2) When the cake is fully baked, spread the mixture on top of the cake and return it to the oven for another 3 minutes.

Notes from the Chef: This recipe will not turn out using “light” or “low fat” products. Allow at least 6 hours of refrigeration before serving.