Jewish Apple Cake

My daughter Randi had eaten some homemade apple cake at a friend’s house, and she claimed it was the best apple cake she’d ever eaten.  It turned out the recipe had come from Smitten Kitchen and is called Mom’s Apple Cake.  I basically followed the recipe to a t.  It turned out to be absolutely delicious.

( adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Ingredients:

  • 6 apples (I used a combination of apples)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (squeeze fresh if you have it)
  • 2 3/4 cup flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 eggs (extra large)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan. Peel, core and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.

Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean.

Let cool and sprinkle with confectioners sugar.

Judy’s Newest Cheesecake

I tried a new cheesecake and it came out beautifully.  The water bath worked amazingly.

Beating the egg whites separately insures a very light texture.  The next time I make

this, I want to add a thin layer of whipped cream on top and then top that with sliced

strawberries.  If I do that I may substitute chocolate wafer crumbs in my crust.

for the crust:

  • 2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter (I used salted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Chocolate cookie crumb crust

  • 3 cups Oreo cookie crumbs (don’t use the crème filling) (use food processor to make crumbs
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

I did not pre-bake this crust; I put it in the freezer for about 20 min. prior to putting the filling in.

    for the filling:

    3 8 oz. blocks of Philadelphia brand cream cheese, at room temperature. (for a 10 in. springform,

    I used 4 blocks of cream cheese (1 was neuf.)

    1 pint whole fat sour cream (I like Daisy brand as it has nothing artificial in it)

    5 extra large eggs (separated)

    1 1/3 cups sugar

    pinch of kosher salt

    1 tablespoos fresh lemon juice (I use either fresh or Minute Maid frozen concentrate)

    1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    make the crust:  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

    Put graham cracker crumbs in a mixing bowl.    Melt butter in bowl in microwave.  Add it to bowl with

    crumbs,  add the sugar and cinnamon, and mix.  Grease a 9 inch springform and

    then press the crumbs mostly on the bottom and a little up the sides of the pan.  Bake

    at 325 degrees for about 8 minutes.  Let cool on counter.

    make the filling:

    Separate eggs and set aside. In large bowl of mixer using the paddle attachment, mix the

    cream cheese till smooth and a little fluffy. Add the sugar and mix well.  Add the yolks and

    mix just till smooth.  Add lemon juice and vanilla, blend a few seconds.  Add pinch of salt.

     Add the sour cream,and mix on very low speed or even by hand till blended.  In a second

    bowl, whip the egg whites with whisk attachment till stiff

    peaks form.  Fold egg whites into batter gently. Pour batter into crust lined pan and smooth top

    gently.

     

    Change:  instead of wrapping pan in foil and baking in water bath, I did something

    much easier that had equally good result.  Place roasting pan filled 2/3 to the top

    with water.  Place this pan on a rack just below the rack you’ll be baking

    cheesecake on.  The steam has same effect as water bath.

     

     

    Bake in middle of oven at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 10 min.  Turn oven off and open door

     slightly, keeping it open with a wooden spoon.  Let sit in oven for a few hours until the cake

    is almost totally cool.  Let sit out on the counter for another hour or so.  Then cover with plastic

    wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

    I recommend making this at least 1 day in advance.

    Note: I’d like to try whipping up about a half pint of whipped cream with some sugar and

    spreading it on top, then topping with some thinly sliced strawberries the next time.

    Or just slice up some fresh strawberries or a mixture of berries and serve on the side.

     

    Raspberry Swirl Variation :  Tried on Mother’s Day 2014 with excellent results

      For the raspberry sauce:

    • 2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 1/3 cup water
    • 12 ounces frozen raspberries, thawed

    In a small saucepan, combine the cornstarch, sugar and water. Add the raspberries

    and cook over medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixture boils. Once boiling, cook

    and stir for one additional minute. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve placed

    over a bowl to remove seeds. Cool to room temperature or chill in refrigerator.

    Pour half of batter in crust.  Put little baby spoons of the sauce all over the batter.

    Then take a wooden skewer and swirl the sauce through,being careful not to touch

    crust when you do this.

    Then pour rest of batter on top and repeat with raspberry sauce in baby spoons over

    top; then swirl through.

     

    Judy’s Newer Carrot Cake

    I made a carrot cake yesterday.  It is basically a cross between Ina Garten’s recipe and David Lebovitz’s recipe.  I brought it to school, and some of the teachers asked for the recipe, and anyone who ate it said it was amazing.

    ingredients for the cake (basically from Ina Garten)

     

    • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar (Ina uses 2 cups)
    • scant 1 1/4  cups vegetable oil (Ina uses 1 1/3 cups but this cake is moist enough without the extra oil.  I used corn oil, but canola would be fine too)
    • 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature (if cold from fridge, place in bowl of warm water for a few minutes)
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 2 1/2 cups unbleached flour (you do not need to sift it)
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder (not in Ina’s recipe)
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1 cup chopped walnuts (I use, but optional)
    • 1 cup raisins (I did not use)
    • 1 pound carrots, grated (I use organic, I peel them, and then grate them in the food processor using the grater attachment)
    • 1 8 oz. can Dole crushed pineapple in natural juice, which I lightly drain pretty well (Ina uses 1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple- which I would use, but the crushed in the can is perfectly fine)

    ingredients for cream cheese frosting (this is basically from David Lebovitz):

    2- 8 oz. packages of regular Philadelphia cream cheese at room temperature

    1 – 4 oz stick of salted butter (he uses unsalted)

    1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (he says a few drops)

    about 3 3/4 cups of sifted confectioners sugar (sift first, then measure) (he says 2 to 3cups)

    ***updated icing (March 2016)- oh my gosh this is amazing and I like it better than my original above)  This has no nuts in the icing!

    • 1 stick salted butter (room temperature)
    • 1 8oz. package Philadelphia (full fat) cream cheese (room temperature)
    • about 2 1/2 – 3 cups confectioners sugar (I didn’t sift as it seemed very fresh and lump free.)
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

    directions for the cake:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 by 13 pan with butter.  I use the rectangular pan because it’s so easy, but you could make this as a layer cake as well (which Ina does).

    Place dry ingredients- flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl and mix with rubber spatula- just to blend everything together.

    Beat sugar, oil, and eggs in large mixing bowl of electric mixer with paddle attachment till it becomes light and a little fluffy.  Then  add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just till blended.  Add crushed pineapple and nuts and mix a few seconds till blended in.  Add carrots, and fold in by hand.  Pour all into greased pan.

    Bake about 50-60 min. till toothpick comes out clean and sides of cake are separated from the pan.  Cool on wire rack.

    Frost when totally cool.  I like to put the cake in the fridge after it’s cool and get it really cold before I frost it because if the cake is still slightly warm when you frost it, the frosting starts to  melt into the cake.

    directions for the frosting:

    When cream cheese and butter are totally at room temp (this will prevent lumps in the frosting), put them in large bowl of mixer with the wire whisk attachment if you have it- otherwise use the regular beaters or paddle attachment.  Mix on medium speed till light and fluffy. On very low speed add the sifted confectioners sugar and salt. Gradually raise the speed and blend until lump-free. Add the heavy cream and vanilla and mix till light and fluffy.

    Use a rubber spatula to frost the cake.  Even though this makes a ton of icing, I use it all. You will have a nice thick layer of icing on the cake, but that’s what makes the cake.

    Note:

    I have eliminated the nuts in the cake and used them in the icing.  That’s really good, too.

    My Mother’s And My Outstanding Strawberry Shortcake

    Of all the cakes I have ever eaten or baked in my life, this strawberry shortcake is the best! This recipe of my mother’s is indescribably delicious. It was a family tradition for my mother to bake this strawberry shortcake every year for our annual Father’s Day barbecue. Everyone waited for my mother to bring this masterpiece of a cake to the table. When I got married, I started to bake this cake. At my beautiful daughter Randi’s first birthday party, I actually baked three of these cakes because we had quite a crowd of people. Anyway, this cake is so beautiful and so delicious that it could win any first place prize at a country fair. The layers are light and airy and so delicious. The filling, which is just whipped cream and sugar with some fresh strawberries and crushed pineapple is dreamy. This strawberry shortcake takes some time, but if you go step by step, you will succeed at creating a dazzling dessert that people will applaud you for.

    for the cake:

    • 1 cup cake flour (sift first, then measure)
    • 6 extra large eggs at room temperature, separated
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (1/2 cup and 1/2 cup)
    • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 3 tablespoons cold water

    for the filling and the frosting:

    • 1 1/2 pints heavy or whipping cream
    • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 2 quarts strawberries
    • 1 16 oz. can of crushed pineapple in its natural juice , drained very well

    to make the cake: (You can make the layers in advance and freeze them!)

    Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. I use 2 round 9 inch baking pans with removable bottoms. If you don’t have that type of pan, then place a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom of your 8 or 9 inch round pans. Do not grease the pans!

    Separate the eggs. Set aside. Sift and measure the cake flour. Put it into a mixing bowl with the salt and baking powder, which you mix with a fork or whisk just to evenly distribute the baking powder and salt.

    Beat egg yolks in large bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high until they have thickened are are pale yellow-about 5 minutes. Add the cold water and vanilla; beat again until thick -about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar; beat again for another minute. Add the flour mixture on very low speed just until mixed in. Set aside.

    In another large bowl, beat the egg whites with the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on highest speed just until they form soft peaks. Then add the other 1/2 cup suar and mix 30 seconds more until they just start to form stiff peaks. Gently, fold the meringue (the beaten egg whites with sugar) gently into the flour and egg yolk batter with a rubber spatula until you can’t see the whites anymore. Be patient while you do this; it takes about 5 minutes. Pour the batter into the two ungreased pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes in the center of the oven until cake springs back when you touch it, the cake has started to separate from the sides, and it is slightly browned on top.

    Cool cakes on wire racks. When cool, take cakes out of pans by running a knife around the edges of each pan. If you are using pans with removable sides, then remove the sides and run a sharp non-serrated knife under the cake to separate it from the pan.

    Let cool completely. Then slice each layer in half horizontally using a good serrated knife so that you have four layers. You may either wrap the layers well and freeze them to use in the future, or you can just wrap them well, and refrigerate them until you are ready to assemble the cake.

    to assemble the cake:

    Drain the pineapple very well by putting it in a sieve, and pressing the juice out of it with a spoon. Set drained pineapple aside. Then wash the strawberries. Place them on paper towels to let them dry. Cut the green tops off them. Reserve enough of the prettiest berries to place whole on top of the cake (about 1/2 quart or 1 pint). Then slice the remaining strawberries and set aside in a bowl. Place the whisk attachment or your beaters in the freezer along with the bowl you will be whipping the cream in and the spatula you will be using. Let those stay in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Put the cream in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Then take everything out of the freezer. Pour the cream into the bowl. Pour about 2 tablespoons of the sugar in with the cream. Put the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on the highest setting, and beat. After about 45 seconds, pour the remaining sugar in. Continue beating until the cream is whipped. It should not be liquidy or loose at all at this point.

    Place one cake layer on a pedestal serving dish that is large enough to hold it. Spread some whipped cream on the layer, about 1/4 inch high. Then sprinkle about 1/3 of the sliced strawberries on the layer. Place the second layer on top of the fruit. Spread more whipped cream on the second layer. Evenly distribute all the crushed pineapple and some of the sliced strawberries on top of the whipped cream. Place the third layer on top of the fruit. Spread whipped cream on top of the cake. Evenly distribute the remaining sliced strawberries over the whipped cream. Place the final (fourth) layer on top of the fruit. Spread the remaining whipped cream on top and on the sides of the cake. Then place the whole strawberries all over the top of the cake. The pointy side of the berries should be on top. Refrigerate until you serve the cake.

    Note #1: If you find you don’t have enough whipped cream to frost the sides of the cake, leave the sides alone, and the cake will look beautiful that way as well.

    Note #2: If you are baking the layers and freezing them to use at a later time, wrap them separately first in a good layer of plastic wrap, and then place each layer in a good ziploc plastic bag.

    My Cousin Janie’s Moist And Delicious Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

    You Can Learn To Make This Yummy Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting – Even If You Think You Can’t Bake!

    I adapted this recipe from a recipe for carrot cake that I got from my wonderful cousin Janie Hindes Miller.  I have so many wonderful childhood memories associated with Janie; she was my closest childhood friend.   Janie is a wonderful cook and baker, but much more than that, Janie is a wonderful person.  For as long as I can remember, Janie has been making this carrot cake for yearly family  gatherings, and everyone goes crazy for it.   For me it was love at first bite when I tasted it, probably back when Janie and I were about 16 or 17 years old.  This carrot cake is a breeze to make, especially if you bake it in a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.  This is a wonderful recipe for a novice  baker.

    for the cake:

    • 1 pound peeled and grated carrots (use organic if possible)
    • 2 cups granulated sugar (I have now reduced the sugar to 1 3/4 cups- you will not detect the difference)
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 4 extra large eggs, at room temperature
    • 1 1/2 cups light olive oil, canola or corn oil (or reduce to 1 1/4 cups- I like the cake more with this reduced amount- June 1, 2010)
    • 2 cups unbleached flour (I prefer to use King Arthur organic unbleached flour, and you do not sift it for this recipe!)
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

    for the icing:

    • 8 ounces Philadelphia brand cream cheese at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or margarine at room temperature (best-using unsalted butter- June 1, 2010)
    • pinch of kosher salt (only if you are using unsalted butter or margarine)
    • 1 pound of confectioners sugar, sifted to get any lumps out
    • 1  teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 3 ounces chopped- not too finely – pecans or walnuts- or mixture of the 2 (optional)(June 1,2010)- nuts make the cream cheese frosting better
    • 1- 8 oz. can of drained crushed pineapple in natural juice (optional)- but I prefer icing now without pineapple and only with the nuts!- June 1/10)

    ***updated icing (March 2016)- oh my gosh this is amazing and I like it better than my original above)

    • 1 stick salted butter (room temperature)
    • 1 8oz. package Philadelphia (full fat) cream cheese (room temperature)
    • about 2 1/2 – 3 cups confectioners sugar (I didn’t sift as it seemed very fresh and lump free.)
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

    for the cake:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Spray or grease sides and bottom of  a 9 x 13 inch nonstick baking pan; set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, measure flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.  Wash, peel, and grate carrots using a hand grater or a food processor fitted with the grater attachment- I use the food processor- it takes no time at all!); set aside.

    In a large mixing bowl, by hand using a whisk, mix eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla, just until completely blended.  Then add dry ingredients to the wet batter, and mix just until blended.  Add carrots and fold them in with a rubber spatula.  Pour batter into prepared baking pan.  Bake for 30-35 minutes on a rack in center of oven until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack, or refrigerate covered with plastic wrap until you are ready to frost it.

    for the icing: (wait till cake is completely cool before you ice it)

    Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese with the butter just until mixture is smooth.  Sift confectioners sugar right in the bowl,  add pinch of salt, and blend on low speed just until blended.  Add vanilla and blend.  Use rubber spatula to mix in nuts by hand if you are using them.  If you are adding the crushed pineapple, be sure to squeeze as much moisture as possible out of the pineapple and then blend it in with a rubber spatula because you don’t want to add any extra liquid to the frosting.  Spread frosting on cooled cake.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you serve.

    Note #1:  You can bake this in  a 9 x 13 inch pan or 2- 8 or 9 inch round pans to make a layer cake.

    Note #2:  You can buy Diamond brand prechopped walnuts that come in a bag and can be found on the baking aisle in the supermarket.

    Note #3:  Do not squeeze moisture out of carrots (I have never done that!)

    This cake can be baked one day ahead and refrigerated until served.

    The Best Light and Creamy Cheesecake (Passover Version Included)

    Forget The Cheesecake Factory!  You Can Learn To Bake The Most Amazing Cheesecake In The World!  

    I adapted this recipe from one that was given to my mother and to me by another one of our wonderful neighbors, Lenore Velinsky.  Lenore was a marvelous cook.  She really loved cooking for her husband Arthur, and for her three boys, Richard, Ira, and Jimmy.  This was her cheesecake recipe, and it was amazing.  I have baked it many times, and it has always come out perfectly.  For me, this is the quintessential cheesecake. This cheesecake is light yet creamy. It has undertones of lemon and only a hint of vanilla. The taste is so wonderful, that the only topping I like to put on is a sprinkling of cut up strawberries or nothing at all.  I love to make this cheesecake recipe for special celebrations or bring it to family gatherings. Everybody goes wild for this cheesecake! Please try it.  I know you’ll agree that it’s the dreamiest cheesecake ever. If you bring this cheesecake with you to a gathering of friends or family, you will be the Next Cooking Star.  I know you’ll agree that this cheesecake is nothing less than heavenly!

    For the crust:

    • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs

    • 1/2 cup sugar

    • 1 stick melted butter or margarine (try reducing to 6 tablespoons next time)

    • 1/2 cup  finely chopped pecans (optional) (I like addition of nuts to crust)

    • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional) (cinnamon adds flavor)

    For the filling:

    • 2 1/2 pounds Philadelphia brand cream cheese (5- 8 oz. packages, at room temperature (I often use 3 packs of the Philadelphia 1/3 Less Fat- Neufchatel, and 2 packs of the regular, but you may use all regular) 6-1-10- this time I used all regular, and it definitely is richer and maybe a little heavier- so I think I like it better with 2 of the light and 3 of the regular or 3 of the light and 2 of the regular.)

    • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

    • 5 extra-large eggs, separated at room temperature

    • 1 pint sour cream (not light)

    • pinch of salt

    • Juice of 1 large lemon or 2 smaller lemons (about 3 tablespoons fresh or in a pinch 1 1/2 tablespoons frozen Minute Maid lemon juice)

    • 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    For the topping (optional):

    • 1 quart fresh strawberries sliced and piled on top (or served on the side), but optional

    Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

    To make the crust, grease a 10 inch springform pan, bottom and sides. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter and chopped pecans in a bowl. Then pour some crumbs into the bottom of your pan. With your hands, press the crumbs into the bottom. Then turn the pan on its side. Keep adding crumbs, turning pan until you have used up all the crumbs. The crumbs should go almost up to the top of the pan. Bake for 8 min. Put in the refrigerator to cool while you are preparing the filling.

    To make the filling, first separate your eggs, and set aside.  Cream the cream cheese in the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until lightened and as lump free as possible, about 5 minutes.  Add the sugar on medium speed and blend.  Add the yolks on low speed, one at a time, just until blended. Scrape down the bowl and beater as necessary. On low speed, add the lemon juice, the vanilla, and the salt. Then on low speed, add the sour cream, just until blended.  Whip egg whites in a separate bowl using electric mixer on highest speed with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form. Then pour the whipped egg whites into your batter, and fold in by hand. Pour batter into the cooled crust.

    Note:  If you have 1 large bowl and 1 smaller bowl for your electric mixer, you can use the large bowl to mix your batter, and the smaller bowl to whip the egg whites.  If you only have 1 bowl for your mixer, whip the egg whites first, then transfer them to another bowl, wipe the bowl dry, and proceed to make the batter.  Your egg whites may deflate a bit though if you do this, but it shouldn’t affect the cake. I do like to whip my egg whites last so they don’t lose any volume.

    Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Turn oven off. Open oven door slightly. The cake will not be completely set in the center. Let cheesecake sit in oven for 1 more hour with the oven door slightly ajar.  Then take the cheesecake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 2-3 hours until completely cooled.

    Run a knife around the outside of the cake. Then release the outside of the springform pan, and carefully lift the sides of the pan over the cake to remove them. Leave the cake on the bottom of the springform pan and place it on your serving platter. Cover the cake with good plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight.

    When you are ready to serve it, slice up 1 quart of strawberries and pile them on top of the cake or serve on the side if desired. But this cheesecake is so delicious, that it will stand on its own with no topping!

    Note: This cake is creamier and even better if made 24 – 30 hours before you serve it!

    Hint:  I enjoy serving this cheesecake with no topping, because only then it is really possible to totally savor the incredible taste and texture of this cake, so that is why I actually recommend that if you want to serve it with strawberries, cut them up and serve them on the side. 

    Passover Version

    Everthing remains the same, except the crust.

    Passover crust

    1 1/2 cups matzah meal

    1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter or margarine – melted

    1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

    1/2 cup sugar

    2-3 teaspoons cinnamon (necessary to cut bland flavor of matzah meal)

    Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Grease bottom and sides of large 10 inch springform pan.  Coat bottom and sides with mixture.  Bake at 300 degrees for 8 minutes.  Set aside to cool while you prepare the filling of the cheesecake.  Follow filling ingredients and instructions as well as baking time instructions above.

    Aunt Helene’s Easy, Light and Creamy Cheesecake

    You Don’t Have To Be An Expert Baker To Bake Your Own Outstanding Cheesecake!

    I adapted this recipe from a recipe for cheesecake that I got from my ex-husband Joe Kahn’s wonderful Aunt Helene. Aunt Helene is a wonderful cook and baker, and I was lucky to have the chance to eat some of her delicious homemade food. This recipe for cheesecake is one of her specialties. I make this recipe for cheesecake often. It calls for less cream cheese than my other recipe and it is a little smaller. You will be surprised when you see how easy it is to make homemade cheesecake. Say goodbye to Sara Lee!

    for the filling:

    • 1 pound (2-8 ounce bars) of Philadelphia brand cream cheese at room temperature
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 pint (16 ounces) sour cream
    • 6 extra large eggs (cracked and set aside in a bowl)
    • juice of one fresh lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
    • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • dash of kosher salt (1/8 teaspoon)

    for the crust:

    • 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) melted margarine or butter
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans

    to make the crust:

    Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides going 3/4 up from the bottom of the pan of a 9 inch springform pan.

    Mix the graham cracker crumbs with the melted margarine or butter. Pat the crumbs into the bottom and 3/4 of the way up the sides of prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes. Take out and cool.

    to make the filling:

    In large bowl of Kitchen Aid or other electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat room temperature cream cheese until it is smooth and as lump free as possible. Add the sugar and mix till blended. Then add the sour cream and blend on low speed. Pour in the eggs, the fresh lemon juice, the vanilla, and the dash of salt. Blend on low speed till filling is very smooth.

    Pour filling into cooled crust. Place carefully in center of oven. Bake for 1 hour. a cure for genital herpes Turn oven off. Let cheesecake sit in oven for at least 3-6 hours with door closed. Take out. Let sit on counter until it isn’t warm at all. Then take the sides off the pan. Place the cheesecake (which is still on the bottom of the springform pan) onto whatever cake plate you will be serving it on. Wrap the cheesecake well with plastic wrap, and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. Serve the next day.

    Serving Suggestion:

    Slice 1 – 2 pints of fresh strawberries and pile on top of cake right before you serve it, or serve a bowl of sliced strawberries on the side.

    Hint #1: If you like your cheesecake to be really light and fluffy, then separate the eggs first and set the egg whites aside. Add only the yolks to the cream cheese mixture initially. When you are done mixing all of the ingredients for the filling, whip the egg whites separately until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Then fold the egg whites in right before you pour the filling into the crust.

    Hint #2: I start baking the cake around 4 or 5 in the afternoon the day before I plan to serve it because of how long the cake stays in the oven after it finishes the actual baking. Helene just keeps the cake in the oven overnight and refrigerates it the next morning. I don’t feel that is necessary, but I’m sure keeping it in the oven overnight won’t hurt it.