I am finally getting my bearings after the shock of going back to being a full-time employee on November 3rd. I’m trying to get back on a weekly blogging schedule, and will do my best, but don’t hold your breath. However, I just had to write about this cheesecake because it’s worth every decadent calorie.
I know I already laid claim to the best Carrot Cake ever. I’m going out on a limb again because I also have the recipe for the best cheesecake ever. I may be a lapsed Catholic, but I cannot lie (not convincingly anyway) and I’m serious, this is the best cheesecake I’ve ever had. The common denominator for both these outstanding recipes is my sister-in-law, Donna. Her attention to detail is almost mind-numbing.
If Donna is doing anything, it’s done perfectly. Let’s say she’s throwing a western themed shower, she’ll have it decorated down to tiny cactus plants on tables, each sporting it’s own tiny, colorful bandana.
Your home’s decor will never hold a candle to hers and your photo albums cannot even hope to compete, so don’t think of trying.
The first time Donna visited our home, I was nine-years-old. I took one look at her and thought, how will this perfect, civilized beautiful young girl ever be able to hang out with us? She was so blonde and charming. She wore perfect shiny, little shoes with buckles on them, like Pilgrims wore and her clothes even matched.
We were loud, Italian, frizzy haired, disorganized and lived for food. I didn’t see it lasting, but I was wrong. Donna and Bernie are coming up on 50 years together soon, so clearly my powers of prognostication stink. Either that, or she’s still trying to perfect my brother, I’m just not sure.
Anyway, back to the cheesecake. Donna tells me that the carrot cake and cheesecake recipes were given to her by a friend, who took a gourmet baking class somewhere in Cleveland many years ago. She’s passed away now, but her name was Sue Fair Kohut, and I thank God she shared these recipes every time I bake either of these fantastic desserts.
This cheesecake is creamy, with a buttery, slightly salty crust and a sour cream layer on top. To say it’s killer good is an understatement. I’ve had cheesecake many places and it’s always dry to me, but this one is amazing.
Donna even wrote out the recipe on cute stationery so I’d have it forever, but I typed it up here for you. Just looking at how neatly she wrote it gives you some insight into the magnitude of her perfection. It’s good having her around, it gives us all something to strive for.
Most Awesome Cheesecake You’ve Ever Had!
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup butter (two sticks) (not unsalted) melted
1/2 cup sugar
3 8 oz packages of cream cheese (at room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 pint (16 oz.) sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Combine the crushed graham crackers, sugar and butter and press it into a 9 x 12 pan.
Next cream the cheese until it’s smooth, then add the eggs, one at a time, then add sugar and vanilla. When it is thoroughly combined, pour it into the pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
While cheesecake is baking, mix together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Set it aside. Once cheesecake has baked for 25 minutes, remove it from oven. Let it cool for about 20 minutes and then pour the sour cream mixture on top. Place it back in the oven and bake it for 15 more minutes, then remove from oven and let it cool.
Donna says the flavor is better if you make it a day ahead of time. She says you can freeze it also. She serves hers with chopped strawberries mixed with sugar. I like it with cherry pie filling on top. But it’s so good you can eat it plain and it’s amazing.