This is the cheesecake for people who don't like cheesecake. It's a classic NY style, except lighter and just the right amount of sweet -- if you cut a sliver, you'll inevitably want another. I remember my dad would recreate his mother's recipe for special occasions; the only times of the year I would eat cheesecake. The origins of this recipe are unknown (how mysterious!), but we know my grandma started making it in the 1960s. —Elana Carlson
Mix graham cracker crumbs and melted butter together in a bowl and press on the bottom of an 8'' spring-form pan.
Using a hand or standing mixer, beat cream cheese on medium speed until soft and smooth. Add 1/2 cup of the sugar gradually and continue beating until light and fluffy, then add egg yolks. Mix in sifted flour and salt. Next, add evaporated milk and vanilla.
Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until peaks remain upright. Add remaining 1/4 cup of sugar gradually, while beating constantly.
Fold egg whites into cream cheese. Pour over crust.
Place cake onto a rimmed baking sheet in the oven, pour an inch of water onto baking sheet creating a water bath.
Cook for 10 minutes and remove the pan with water on it. Lower the oven to 325 degrees. Cook for an additional 40 minutes. When the cake is done, turn the oven off but leave cake in, allowing to cool slowly for 30-60 minutes. Don't open the oven to prevent collapsing!