Thursday, December 30, 2010

All in the Family

***Author's Note: This post is about 3 days overdue because the internet and blizzards don't get along. At all.***

I mentioned that I made my brother Sticky Toffee Pudding for his birthday. 

Well, my dad's birthday is actually in the month of December, and so I made him a cheesecake. Boys are darn hard to shop for, so I go with the "the way to his heart his through his stomach" adage for gift inspiration. It has never been received with disappointment.
 He's not big on sweets but he loooves cheesecake, and so I dug up my grandmother (his mother)'s recipe and got to work, almost the minute I walked off the plane!
Not perfectly pretty, but damn was it good - and I am not a big fan of cheesecake! It was "iced" with a little nutella, microwaved to make it a little liquidy and scooped into a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off for perfect makeshift frosting purposes. This was the French style - about half as high as New York cheesecake, less cakey, and topped with a sour cream + sugar topping. I made a gingersnap crust instead of graham cracker, just for something different, and I highly recommend it! Dad had it for breakfast. Twice.

Yes, it is my grandmother's recipe, but I don't believe in withholding recipes because of family tradition or anything. The holidays are a time for sharing, after all!

For the crust:
8 oz gingersnaps
2 T sugar
1/2 stick (4 T) butter
sprinkle of cinnamon

Put the cookies between two sheets of wax paper (or use a fancy schmancy pulverizer) and a rolling pin to crush the snaps into crumbs. It's fine if there is some irregularity in the size of the crumbs and a couple bigger pieces here and there - just makes it rustic ;)
Melt the butter and mix it in with the crumbs, sugar, and a bit of cinnamon if you like.
Press the mixture into the bottom of a springform pie pan and set aside. (The crust is only on the bottom - not the sides.)

For the cake:
2 eggs
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp vanilla
3/4 lb (12 oz) cream cheese

Beat the eggs and sugar. Add in the vanilla and cream cheese and beat 'til smooth.
Pour over the crust and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake for 20 minutes at 375 F. Let cool.

For the topping:
3/4 pint (12 oz, about a cup and a half) sour cream
2 T sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp vanilla

Beat all ingredients til smooth. Pour over the cooled pie. Bake at 450 F for 5 minutes. Chill very well before serving (several hours and overnight would be best).

In any recipe I use ever, when I see vanilla, I usually double it. I swear it makes it 10 times better. 

Alas, with great recipes comes great responsibility. So for the love of all things sweet and creamy, do not use lower fat cream cheese or sour cream. Just don't. Promise me.



  1. Ummm, Actually i had for breakfast at least 3 x and I don't remember how many desserts it made. It actually lasted longer than I expected with the BRO in the house! AND IT WAS GOOD. That is how cheese cake is supposed to be. Made my Mom proud -wherever she is.

  2. Hi hon! Glad you're back. I missed reading your blog! Can't wait to see your hopefully more often updates with the new kitchen. Box (with all the kitchen accoutrements received for Christmas!) is on its way! Love you!