1 piecrust (regular or graham-I try to get deep dish)
12 ounces of softened cream cheese (I get what's on sale-either two 8 ounce blocks and use 1-1/2 or 4 3 oz. bars)
1 can cherry pie filling (or blueberry)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 to 1 tsp. vanilla
Prepare piecrust by adding 1/2 can of cherry pie filling on the bottom and bake about 8-10 minutes or until just a little golden around the edges (if using graham cracker crust, just add the pie filling and put it in the oven after you have completed the cream cheese filling).After pie crust is finished, turn down oven to 325. Mix cream cheese and sugar together thoroughly. Add eggs (add one at a time and wait for one egg to completely mix in before you add second) and then the vanilla. Pour filling into hot pie shell (I wait about 3-5 minutes after taking it out of the oven to pour it on). Bake for about 28-35 minutes (check it starting at 25 minutes). It will be a little jiggly in the center, but pull it out anyway!! After cheesecake cools down, add rest of pie filling in the middle of pie and surround with whatever whipped topping you like.
Tips:I have found the easiest pie crust to use for this recipe is frozen pie crusts-then you don't have to use up a pan. Just let it thaw out a little before you start recipe. I have used ready-made by Pillsbury and they are great, but you MUST not stretch the dough when you put it into pie pan or it will shrink. I think the graham cracker crusts are better for this cheesecake when you just make it plain without the cherry pie filling.Also, your cream cheese must be soft, preferably at room temperature. If you know you are going to make pie in afternoon, then take cream cheese out in the morning and let it sit on the counter (don't worry about it sitting out, it will be fine).One thing that I had to learn was when to take pie out of oven. If you wait until it is not jiggly, it will be very dry. However, don't pull it out if it is jiggly for the entire surface area; it should just be jiggly in the center.
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