One 8-ounce package of cream cheese
1 store-bought graham cracker pie crust
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 TBSP lemon juice (the bottled kind is fine)
1/4 TSP vanilla
Dash of salt
Dash of nutmeg (or more than a dash, if you're fond of nutmeg)
2 beaten eggs
And for the topping:
1 cup (one 8-ounce tub) sour cream
2 TBSP sugar
1/4 TSP vanilla
1. Put the cream cheese and the sugar in a bowl and cream the two together well -- that is, beat them with a wooden spoon until they're smooth and blended.
2. Beat in the lemon juice, vanilla, nutmeg and salt.
3. Break two eggs in a small bowl and whip them well with a fork; then beat them into the batter.
4. Set the pie crust on a baking sheet. (Don't throw away the plastic top cover; you'll need it later.) Pour the batter into the pie crust and bake it at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife comes out clean when you test it for doneness. Take the cheesecake out of the oven, but leave the oven turned on.
5. Put the topping ingredients in a small bowl and beat them together till they're smooth. Spread the topping carefully over the top of the cheesecake with a metal spatula or a table knife; then put the cheesecake back in the oven to bake for ten more minutes.
6. Cool the cheesecake on a metal rack for one hour; then put the plastic cover back over it and refrigerate for at least three hours.
7. When you serve the cheesecake, be prepared for children (and some adults) to say, "Eeeewww.... what are all those funny little black specks?" To which you respond: "They're nutmeg."
Note: This will be even more frugal if you make your own crust -- which is alleged to be only a matter of (a) mixing a cup of graham cracker crumbs, a TBSP or two of sugar (according to your taste), and 3 TBSP of butter, (b) pressing the mix into a pie pan until you've covered the bottom and sides, and (c) baking the crust for 10 minutes at 325 degrees before you fill it. I am no good at this at all, even when I cheat and double the amount of the ingredients; I rely on the commercial crusts.