Gran's Gifted Cheesecake

By • December 26, 2013 • 44 Comments

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Author Notes: Back in the 1950s my mom was gifted a recipe for a cheesecake from her dear friend Rita. Family and friends alike loved this version so much that many put it on their Christmas "wish list." Mom would always comply and make a cheesecake for them for birthdays or Christmas. Normally about twelve cheesecakes every Christmas were carefully baked and frozen for all. I made this for Christmas this year...my kids were delighted when they saw their "Granny's" cheesecake on the dessert table. inpatskitchen

Food52 Review: WHO: Inpatskitchen is a retired teacher, paralegal, and seafood retailer.
WHAT: Dare we say the best cheesecake we've ever had.
HOW: Make a graham cracker crust, pour in a cream cheese layer, bake, top with a sour cream layer, then finish with whipped cream.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This might just be the perfect cheescake; the graham cracker crust is a breeze to make, and the cream cheese, sour cream, and whipped cream all contribute respective layers of sweetness and tang. We love how there's almond extract, too, which adds a certain level of je ne sais quoi.
A&M

Makes one 9-inch cheesecake

For the crust and cream cheese filling

  • 1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pound softened cream cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  1. Blend the graham crumbs, melted butter, 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon together and press into the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan.
  2. With an electric mixer beat the cream cheese, almond extract, 1/2 cup sugar, and eggs together, adding the eggs one at a time.
  3. Pour the cream cheese filling over the graham crust and bake at 375° F for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

For the sour cream layer and topping

  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. After baking the cream cheese layer, crank up the oven temperature to 475° F. Blend the sour cream, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract together and spread over the cooled cream cheese layer. Return the cake to the 475° F oven for 10 minutes. Remove and cool completely.
  2. Once cooled, whip the heavy whipping cream, gelatin, two tablespoons sugar, and one teaspoon vanilla extract. Spread over the top of the cake and chill before serving.
Jump to Comments (44)

Comments (44) Questions (0)

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3 months ago Blythe

How far in advance can this cake be made?

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3 months ago inpatskitchen

You can make the cheesecake a couple of days ahead, but don't add the whipping cream until just before serving or at least on the morning of service. You can also freeze the whole cake (whipping cream and all) and make many days ahead.

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3 months ago EmilyC

Made this for Father's Day, and it's incredible -- the best cheesecake I've ever had. My husband said he wants it for his birthday. The flavor and texture are really superb. Thanks for sharing this gem!

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3 months ago inpatskitchen

Thank YOU Emily! So happy you all enjoyed!

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3 months ago EmilyC

Hi Pat -- I'm hoping to find the time to make this for Father's Day dinner, or if not this weekend, soon! One question -- in Step 3, should the cream cheese be fully set in the middle before taking it out of the oven or slightly jiggly? Should I expect any cracking? I don't have much experience with cheesecake, and with my oven I can't always follow recommended baking times. Thanks in advance!

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3 months ago inpatskitchen

Hi Emily! It might be slightly jiggly and maybe a little cracking ( both have happened to me)....but the sour cream layer will take care of that. Oh I sure hope you enjoy!

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3 months ago Vincent

Thanks for the "words of encouragement"
I agree - Life is too short to nitpick about calories at my age anyway,
so I'll just add a few more workouts to the regimen :-)

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3 months ago inpatskitchen

There you go!!

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3 months ago Vincent

This may sound silly but I'll ask anyway, Calories ? Protein?
I love Cheesecake but have always denied myself the privelege !
This looks "TOO GOOD TO PASS UP"

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3 months ago inpatskitchen

Hi Vincent! No idea about calories and protein but you could always go to one of those websites that figures it out for you. I hope you try this though...a splurge now and then is good for "the body and soul"! Thanks so much!

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3 months ago Jessica Collier

I am so excited to try this!

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3 months ago inpatskitchen

I sure hope you enjoy! Thanks!

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4 months ago LittleTeapot

I made this for my husbands' birthday and it was a big hit! I added some passionfruit to the top at his request which was delicious and balanced the sweetness well. Thanks so much for the recipe - I'll be making it again!

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4 months ago inpatskitchen

So happy you all enjoyed! Thanks! (and the passionfruit sounds phenomenal!(

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4 months ago miamineymo

Never mind, I see you answered it already!

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4 months ago inpatskitchen

Oh I sure hope you enjoy!

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4 months ago miamineymo

I just baked this but want to save it for tomorrow. Should I add the whipped cream topping today or tomorrow? P.S. it looks and smells fantastic!

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4 months ago ATG117

Do you think the gelatin can be left out?

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4 months ago inpatskitchen

Certainly it can be omitted. Mom put it in to keep the whipped cream stabilized. I usually make this the day before I serve and just make the whipped cream and spread it just before serving.

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5 months ago BOBBYE WILEY

This sounds so good and easy!!! I love cheesecake and you know how us Southern girls are we always have to have something sweet to serve to unexpected company!
Can't wait to try it..Congratulations on your win! Ms Bobbye

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5 months ago inpatskitchen

Thank you so much Ms Bobbye! And Welcome to Food52!

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5 months ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

Oh this looks so like something my grandmother made (but she had strawberries on it, too)... Thank you Pat, and thanks, Food52 for bringing a great recipe to the forefront. Yay.

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5 months ago inpatskitchen

Thank YOU MrsWheelbarrow!!

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5 months ago GiGi26

Congratulation on your Wild Card Win!!! I can truthfully say as one of the lucky "eaters" (several times) of this Cheese Cake it IS the best cheese cake EVER!!!It was the first one I ever tasted as a girl and nothing has come close to compare.

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5 months ago inpatskitchen

You know how much I appreciate your kind words, Pam! Thanks so much!

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5 months ago EmilyC

Can't wait to make this! My kids LOVE cream cheese but I've never made a cheesecake for them. This is the perfect introduction and will have them spoiled for life!

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5 months ago inpatskitchen

Oh I hope they love it! One of my granddaughters will take this before ice cream!!

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5 months ago SusanR

I am a strong proponent of real NY cheesecake. But... there is no way I am not making this cake. It looks crazy delicious! Just, please, don't tell. :)

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5 months ago inpatskitchen

Thank you so much!! (I promise I won't tell!)

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5 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

This looks completely amazing! Congrats on the wildcard. I'm definitely queuing this one up for baking whenever the next moment I possibly could justify making a cheesecake for arrives!

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5 months ago inpatskitchen

Thanks Emily! Go ahead and "justify"!

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5 months ago Kukla

Congratulations Pat! This Cheesecake looks and sounds dangerously phenomenal!!!

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5 months ago inpatskitchen

Thank you Kukla!

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5 months ago anne

If I made a smaller cake, could I freeze the filling? It's a bit much for a single girl to have around the house. There is no way I wouldn't eat the whole damn thing.

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5 months ago inpatskitchen

My mom used to freeze whole cakes whipped cream and all...maybe you could freeze individual slices?

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5 months ago SusanR

Ha! I was just about to ask at what point it is freezable! Thanks!

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5 months ago lapadia

Awesome, sounds like a must try, Pat! :)

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5 months ago inpatskitchen

Thanks l! Hope you make it...it's wonderful!

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5 months ago loubaby

My aunt makes one very similar but without the whipped cream topping and it has always been our absolute favorite cheesecake....thanks for sharing this...creamy heaven.

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5 months ago inpatskitchen

Our family favorite too! Thanks so much!