There are so many cheesecake recipes out there. They’ve been simplified and reduced to a package of cream cheese, some pudding and cool whip plopped into a premade crust. But that’s just not really a cheesecake is it? There’s nothing like a cheesecake baked from scratch.
I have this most fantabulous cookbook: The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, but mine’s the 1980 version. It’s been redone a couple of times and I had purchased the revised copy with high hopes. I wasn’t as pleased with the newer versions as it just didn’t have the totally cool photo index that mine does. In fact, I had a different copy of this cookbook that my dad handed down to me and it had an unfortunate accident with an electric stove top, charring many of its pages. Eeek. I was devasted, especially since it burned the hand written inscription from my dad, how stupid are we at 25?? Ugh. Anyway, I bought the new version, returned it and found the exact one I had before. Bliss :)
This recipe is on page 158. I was a little surprised that they instructed me to add lemon rind and juice to the cherry topping, but it was fabulous. The only variation I made was to remove the walnuts, I just adjusted by adding graham cracker crumbs until the texture was right. I have a friend that is allergic to nuts and wanted her to have some :)
1 cup graham-cracker crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped California walnuts
1/3 cup butter, melted (I cooled it to room temp)
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
3 8-oz pkgs cream cheese
2 cups sour cream
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
21 ounce can cherry pie filling
1 tbsp grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Mix all three ingredients together and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In medium bowl with a fork, mix first three ingredients and 1/4 cup sugar. Press mixture firmly on bottom and around side of 9″ x 3″ springform pan to within 1 1/2″ of the top.
In a large bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese until smooth; slowly beat in 1 1/2 cups sugar. With mixer at low speed, beat in eggs (one at a time) and remaining ingredients, except cherry topping. At medium speed, beat three minutes.
Pour mixture into pan; bake 1 hour or until lightly browned. Turn off oven; leave in oven 30 minutes. (see my notes at the end) Remove; cool in pan on rack. Cover; chill.
To serve: remove side of pan. With large spatula; loosen cake from pan bottom, slide onto plate. Spoon cherry topping evenly over cheesecake.
MY NOTES: I thought I had made the perfect cheesecake. I removed it from the oven after 30 minutes and it was gorgeous as you can see! I turned my back for ten minutes and it had a huge crack, about 3″ long, in the middle! Arrgghh! Luckily the cherry topping covered it, but I think the cake should have just stayed in the cooling oven for much longer, maybe another hour. I read in a cheesecake cookbook somewhere that the cracks come from extreme differences in temperature. Therefore removing it from the oven and into the room temperature air caused the crack.
This is a delicious recipe and I will definitely make it again. :) Do you have a favorite cheesecake recipe?