Deliciously simple cheesecake that can be a canvas for your creativity. Try topping this with crumbles of your favorite candy bar, or make it fancy with a sweet berry puree.
Prepare graham cracker crust - mix together with a fork until all ingredients are moistened. Spread the mixture evenly in 10 inch pan. Using your fingertips or the flat bottom of a drinking glass, firmly press the mixture over the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a pan. Freeze for 20 minutes. For a crunchier crust bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until lightly browned, 10-15 minutes instead of freezing it.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until creamy, about 30 seconds. Do not over beat. Gradually beat in 1 cup sugar and vanilla extract. Beat in 1 egg at a time, just until incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl and the beater after each addition. Scrape the batter into the crust and smooth the top. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake until the center just barely jiggles when the pan is tapped, 45-55 minutes. Turn off the oven, prop the door ajar with a folded hot pad or the handle of a wooden spoon, and let the cake cool in the oven for 1/2 an hour. Remove from oven and continue to cool in the pan on a rack for at least 1 hour. Combine sour cream, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla bean paste and salt in a small bowl. Spread over the cake. Let cool completely in the pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours preferable 24 hours, before serving.
Can be served with fresh berries.