crust (recipe follows)
5 8-oz pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 c sugar
3 T flour
1/4 tsp salt
grated peel of one lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla
5 eggs (1 c)
2 egg yolks
1/4 c whipping cream
Prepare crust in 10″ springform pan. After crust is done, raise oven temp to 450. Adjust oven racks, if necessary, so that they divide the oven into equal thirds. Place a pan of boiling water on the lower rack, reserving the top rack for the cheesecake (this step will prevent the cheesecake from cracking during cooling.)
Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Add flour, salt, lemon peel and vanilla, beating well. Beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in whipping cream. Pour filling over prepared crust and bake 12 minutes at 450, then reduce oven temp to 300 and continue to bake for 55 minutes. The center should be very slightly loose. Remove from oven, cool to room temperature, then chill. Serve with berry or cherry glaze, if desired. After it is cool, the cheesecake can be well wrapped and frozen. Thaw in the refrigerator four hours before serving. This was Grandma Miller’s best cheesecake recipe.
1 graham cracker or cookie crumb crust for 10″ cheesecake, or
1-1/2 c flour or almond meal
1/4 c sugar
3/4 c cold butter
1 slightly beaten egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla
Combine flour or almond meal and sugar, cut in cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in egg yolk and vanilla. Press half the crust evenly into the bottom of buttered 10″ springform pan and bake at 400 for 8 minutes. Cool. When cool, press the other half of the crust evenly around the sides of the springform pan (the sides will not be baked before pouring cheesecake into the pan). Or, if using a cookie crumb crust, prepare according to recipe directions and cool.
bananas foster cheesecake variation
Make a cookie crumb crust, using a 12-oz box of nilla wafer cookies + 1 c pecan crumbs. Mix cheesecake as directed, omitting lemon peel, increasing vanilla to 1 tsp, and adding 4 ripe bananas, mashed till smooth. Bake as directed. Chill until very cold. Top cake with brennan’s bananas foster caramel sauce before serving. Yum!
chocolate chip cheesecake variation
Make a cookie crumb crust using 12-oz of chocolate wafer cookies. Mix cheesecake as directed, omitting lemon peel. Stir in 1/2 c mini chocolate chips, and bake as directed. Sprinkle 1/2 c mini chocolate chips over the top of the warm cheesecake. Cool, then spread 1 c sour cream over top of cheesecake, chocolate chips and all.
chocolate marble cheesecake variation
Make a cookie crumb crust using 12-oz of chocolate wafer cookies. Mix cheesecake as directed, omitting lemon peel. Pour into prepared crust. Melt 12 oz bittersweet chocolate chips, drizzle into the cheesecake batter and carefully marble with a knife. Bake as directed. Serve with sweetened whipped cream and shaved chocolate.
lemon supreme cheesecake variation
Make 1 recipe lemon curd and chill in refrigerator. Make cheesecake as directed, using 1-1/4 c sugar, the grated peel of 3 lemons, and lemon extract in place of vanilla extract. Bake cheesecake as directed. When cool, spread the top of the cheesecake with lemon curd. Chill thoroughly. Before serving, whip 1 c heavy whipping cream with 2 T sugar and 1 tsp vanilla, and spread the whipped cream over the cheesecake.
pumpkin cheesecake variation
Make a cookie crumb crust using 12-oz of gingersnap cookies. Mix cheesecake as directed, omitting lemon peel. Increase vanilla to 1 tsp; increase sugar to 1-1/4 c. Add 3/4 c canned pumpkin, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp cloves. Bake as directed.
vanilla bean cheesecake variation
Make crust and filling as directed. Omit lemon peel and scrap the insides of 1 vanilla bean pod into the batter, along with the vanilla extract. Bake as directed. While the cheesecake is cooling, whip 16 oz of sour cream with 1 T powdered sugar to stiff peaks. Spread over the cold cheesecake.
white chocolate raspberry cheesecake variation
Make a cookie crumb crust using 12-oz shortbread cookies. Mix cheesecake as directed, omitting sugar and adding 16 oz melted white chocolate to the batter. Spoon 1/2 of the batter into the cooled crust. Warm seedless raspberry preserves until pourable; drizzle 1/2 c preserves on the batter in a thin layer, then carefully pour remaining batter over the preserves. Bake as directed. Garnish cooled cake with fresh raspberries, mint leaves, and lemon peel curls.
If your husband does not like white chocolate cheesecake, you can still get a similar effect by making white chocolate sauce to pour over plain cheesecake with fresh raspberries. Heat 1/3 c whipping cream to the boiling point, pour over 4 oz chopped white chocolate. Let sit five minutes then whisk till smooth and chill.