Sunday, March 13, 2011

Deluxe Cheesecake

I have actually never made a baked cheesecake before. Craig Clairborne's New York Times Cookbook has a recipe for cheesecake made with gelatin. I used to make that in the high and far off times when we occasionally ate deserts. Baked cheesecakes always seemed sort of dry and mealy to me, so I didn't leap in to make it earlier. This cheesecake is delicious and neither dry nor mealy. It does take a long time to make. This is a real, make the day before type of recipe, and due to my husband's desire not to have the day of the dinner party be what my son calls a goat rodeo, I started making it around 9:30 on Friday night. We ended up going to bed well after midnight, so I would recommend not only making this the day before the party, but starting it at 6:00 when you get home from work.
It has several steps. The first is the crust. As usual, I had issues with the pastry. The recipe is supposed to make enough pastry for the bottom and sides of a 9 inch springform pan. It didn't. My husband, who is much better at pastry than I am, suggested after hearing me swear and fuss, that I should just use all the dough for the bottom of the pan and not bother with the side, which is what I did. The recipe calls for no liquid at all to hold the pastry together. I couldn't figure out how exactly one was supposed to get this mass of crumbs to adhere to each other. I started adding tablespoonsful of ice water. After two, I got it to hang together enough so I could pat the dough over the bottom of the springform pan. Then, you have to bake the crust, while you get to work on the filling.
The first step of preparing the filling says to beat 5 eight-ounce packages of cream cheese until fluffy. Unless you have some sort of industrial strength mixer, this seems like a great way to burn out your mixer. I began beating in the eggs, one by one, and was then able to beat the cream cheese. Even so, I had to stop every couple of minutes and unclog the beaters from their masses of cream cheese.
The recipe says bake for 8 to 10 minutes at 475 then turn the temperature down to 200 and bake for an hour. Then, the cook is supposed to turn off the oven, leave the cheesecake in the oven with the oven door ajar for another 30 minutes. I left it in overnight, and it was not overdone. This is a terrific recipe. Both we and the guests loved it. As my husband was putting it away, he snaffled at least one extra piece, possibly two.

Deluxe Cheesecake

one cup of flour
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 cup butter
1 egg yolk lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
5 eight ounce packages cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup heavy cream

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. To prepare crust, combine the flour, sugar and lemon rind. Cut in the butter until mixture is crumbly. Add the egg yok and vanilla. Mix.
3. Pat one-third of the dough over bottom of a nine-inch springform pan with sides removed. Bake about six minutes, or until golden. Cool.
4. Butter the sides of the pan and attach to the bottom. Pat remaining dough around sides to a height of two inches.
5. Increase the oven heat to 475 degrees.
6. To prepare filling, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add the vanilla and lemon rind.
7. Combine the sugar, flour and salt. Gradually blend into the cheese mixture. Beat in the eggs and egg yolks one at a time, and the cream. Beat until smooth and creamy.
8. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake eight to ten minutes, or until top edge is golden.
9. Reduce the oven heat to 200 degrees. Bake one hour longer, or until set.( This means until it's not wobbling around when you shake it gently. Turn off the oven and allow cake to remain thirty minutes in the oven with the door ajar.
10. Cool cake on a rack. Chill before serving, Top with a fruit glaze (recipes above) if desired.
Makes 8 servings.


  1. Good day to you,

    I just baked this cheesecake this morning and was ever so grateful to have found your blog and cooking notes last evening before I did so. I had trouble with the pastry; I "lined" about an inch of the pan sides using ice water and flour. I can't wait until dessert time to cut a slice.

    Thank you,


  2. This is the recipe my mother has always used. She got it out of a magazine in the 70's. I didn't have a copy handy and have looked everywhere for it on line. This is it! Yay! Thanks!