As if I needed an excuse to make cheesecake, my mother sent me an email this past weekend asking if she could write a guest post on In Good Taste. Since the recipe she wanted to share is so-good-it-should-be-illegal good, I obliged (among other reasons). I did a little baking yesterday and snapped some photos to accompany her post.
By Daryl Callahan
I have asked Maris if I could contribute a guest post here so that I could honor my brother Glenn. Glenn was my brother and best friend, a kind sensitive boy with a heart of gold.
Yes, but that’s because he always knew he was right…and looking back he probably was!
He aspired to be a comedy writer and director and he would have been very successful but he died on October 1, 1974 at the age of 20, from an inoperable brain tumor.
When we were kids, sometime in the late 50’s, we pretended to get married. We even pretended my doll – whom we named Beth – was our daughter. As we grew up, every year on January 4 – through college – we sent each other anniversary cards.
His kind spirit was not just reserved for the family.
In high school he organized and ran carnivals and charity events for American Heart Association and American Cancer Society.
When he was no more then 8 years old he took his little red wagon and went door to door collecting clothes for the people of then earthquake-ravaged Chile.
Toward the end of his illness he asked me to take him to the bank where he withdrew his savings, stating “I won’t be needing it” and proceeded to direct us from store to store so he could buy presents for his family and friends. I could go on and on about his kind, selfless personality, but instead, I’ll share his absolute all time favorite cheesecake recipe.
We call it, of course, Glenn’s Cheesecake.
The recipe uses Zweiback Toast, which is difficult to find in stores. If you can’t find Zwieback, you could supplement your favorite biscuit or graham crackers [Maris uses vanilla wafers, as indicated below and that works well].
I hope you enjoy this as much as my family always has.
To personalize the recipe for you and yours, you can serve it topped with your favorite canned or fresh fruit compote (Maris note: this also works well if, say, your cheesecake comes out of the oven with a massive crack down the center and you want to disguise it).
For the Crust:
- 1 tablespoon + 2 tablespoons of butter
- 10 Zweiback biscuits, crushed* (Use a food processor to crush the cookies into crumbs. If you don't have one, you can crush the cookies in a ziplock bag).
- 2 tablespoons sugar
For the Filling:
- 1 pound (16 ounces) cream cheese
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 eggs
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- [i]*Note from Maris: If you can't find Zwieback, use ½ a box of vanilla wafers - about 25 1-inch cookies.
- Grease a 7- or 8- inch spring form pan with one tablespoon of butter. Mix together remaining butter, biscuits [or wafers] and sugar. Press mixture on the bottom of the pan. Set aside. Pre heat oven to 300 * F. Place a pan of hot water on the bottom rack of the oven.
- Beat cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch and salt until very smooth. Add egg yolks and eggs one at a time until smooth. Then add sweet cream and lemon juice and vanilla. Pour cheese mixture into prepared spring form. Place over the rack with pan of water. Bake for one hour and then turn off oven. Allow cake to cool in oven for at least 2 hours more Remove cake to rack but do not remove from pan until cool