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
Test Kitchen Notes
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. —The Editors
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.
With an electric mixer beat the cream cheese, almond extract, 1/2 cup sugar, and eggs together, adding the eggs one at a time.
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
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.
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.
I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I learned...to this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining.
My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!