Be merry and bright.
Enjoy the holiday lights.
And adding a little brandy to this recipe will help you be merry!
Today's recipe is from Marianne Vinich.
Many years ago I made all the cheesecakes served at my former restaurant in Hudson, the "El Toro." I still make the cheesecake for family and many friends! One important piece of advice: do not use low-fat ingredients. I’ve tried it and I felt the cheesecake was a failure with taste and texture. This is NOT a diet food! Just enjoy the season. Baking this cheesecake brings back many fond memories of my daughter…she would go into the large cooler at the El Toro, sneak a piece of cheesecake when no one was looking…she thinks!! She fessed up as an adult, but the truth is, I knew, and secretly laughed about it.
Happy Holidays to all, I hope you enjoy making your own special memories. Love, Marianne
Prep Time: 20-30 minutes. Bake: 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350. Move rack to the middle of the oven.
You will need a 9” or larger spring form pan. When I use a larger pan, I always make a little more crust to make sure I have enough.
1 3/4 - 2 cups graham cracker crumbs.
1/3 cup real butter, melted
cinnamon, several good shakes - my mother always put cinnamon in the crust and I find it delightful!
1/4 cup sugar
Mix all the ingredients together with a spatula. Press into the spring form pan going up the side as high as possible. Put aside.
3 - 8 oz pkgs Philadelphia cream cheese, softened.
3 tbsp vanilla
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 - 8 oz container sour cream
Put all of these ingredients in your mixer on high speed and beat until fluffy and well blended. Gently pour into the crust-filled spring-form pan. Smooth the top gently with your spatula. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes.
After 1 hour, I open the oven and put a knife into the cake to test for firmness. If the knife comes out clean, I take the cheesecake out and put it on a rack to cool. If my knife is sticky, I put the cake back in for 10 minutes. Yes, your cheesecake may crack on top. I got over that years ago. It does not effect your delicious cake! When I feel the cake is sufficiently cool, I put her in the refrigerator to “chill" overnight.
This is a special topping my beloved mother, Liselotte Schachenmann-Bernstein, always put on her cheesecake. I LOVE it, and it is perfection for the palette.
1 - 8oz container of sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
Mix all ingredients together, then spread over the cheesecake, 5 minutes after you take it out of the oven. Put the cheesecake back in the hot 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. The top may get a bit brown which is fine. Take the cheesecake out of the oven. Let her cool for a short time and then put in a cold refrigerator to “chill" overnight.
You can also use pie filling of your choice. Or, I personally love fresh fruit - strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, pears. I put the fruit in a bowl and mix sugar to taste, add some fresh-squeezed lemon juice and serve either on the side or on top. You can also add some Brandy or Cognac to the fruit mixture for an extra special ADULT treat. Sometimes the cheesecake will sink in the middle a bit while cooling. I always compensate for this with my toppings.
Here is a great hint I learned: After the cheesecake is chilled, put her in the freezer and freeze solid. Take the cheesecake out of the freezer and with a very sharp knife go around the edges to loosen, open the spring form pan, take off the ring. Slide the frozen cheesecake off the spring-form base onto a wooden board or platter. With a very sharp knife cut the cheesecake while it is frozen. This will give you even pieces.
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