This super-easy recipe deserves a spot in your dessert lineup.

three ingredient cheesecake

Francesco Perre/EyeEm

A Southern baker worth her reputation has a box full of quality, time-tested dessert recipes in her arsenal - a pound cake recipe she likes to serve at picnics and a tall layer cake elegant enough for a Sunday brunch. The fresh fruit cobblers are always a hit at church socials, and every member of the family asks for their favorite Christmas cookie during the holidays. A silky cheesecake is always the crowning touch to a special meal, but, of all the desserts, a cheesecake can be a bit frustrating to bake.  You don’t want to over bake or it will be too dry and rubbery, but, under bake and it is way too loose. If you get it right, however, the results are a delicious and memorable dessert. If you aren’t a fan of the long ingredient list of most cheesecake recipes, try this incredibly simple three-ingredient recipe. Yes, just three ingredients: eggs (the 5 eggs count as 1 ingredient!), 1 package of cream cheese, and 1 can of sweetened condensed milk. And what could go wrong with a recipe containing sweetened condensed milk? This simple recipe may not replace your long-time favorite cheesecake recipe, but it is bound to find a place in your line-up of quick and easy recipes to make for a last minute event.

What you need:

1          8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1          14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
5          large eggs, separated
Garnishes: powdered sugar, fresh fruit, caramel or chocolate sauce

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Tightly wrap the bottom and sides of a 9” springform pan with aluminum foil, and spray inside the pan with cooking spray. Separate egg yolks and whites.

2. Using an electric mixer, in a large bowl beat cream cheese until smooth, about 1 minute. Add sweetened condensed milk and whisk until fully blended, about 1 minute. Add egg yolks and mix until fully blended.

3. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, about 5 to 6 minutes.

4. Gently fold egg whites into the cream cheese and milk mixture, stirring just until fully blended.

5. Transfer cheesecake batter to springform pan, and place the pan in the center of a large baking dish. Pour boiling water into the baking dish, reaching 1/3 of the way up to the outside of the springform pan.

6. Bake in preheated oven 50 minutes or until set, then turn heat off and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for 1 hour. Let it cool completely before serving. If you are not serving the cheesecake the same day, cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

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Use your imagination and top the cheesecake with fresh fruit, a dusting of powdered sugar, shaved chocolate, caramel sauce, warmed fruit preserves, or fresh herbs and citrus zest.