May 15, 2013

Mom's cherry cheesecake

My mom baked all kinds of desserts, but she was famous for her cheesecake. For nearly every holiday, birthday or party, cheesecake was a fixture on the menu. Mom delighted in unfussy recipes with minimal ingredients; nothing too sweet or complicated. If she found a recipe that she liked, she stuck with it for a long time.

This cherry cheesecake recipe made many, many appearances over the years. It met all her criteria: It tastes good, it's easy to make and it looks like a showstopper. Most importantly, we all loved it. I baked this cheesecake to remember her on Mother's Day, but you can enjoy this cake for any special occasion. We certainly did.

Mom's Cherry Cheesecake
Makes one 9-inch cake

For the crust
1 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs (made from about 1 1/2 sleeves of graham crackers)
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
(Optional): 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

For the cake
Three 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (do not use evaporated milk)
4 eggs
8 oz. carton of sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Store-bought cherry pie filling

Make the crust
Use a food processor to chop the graham crackers into fine crumbs and to grind the nuts (if using). Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, butter and nuts (if using). Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch spring form pan. Set aside.

Make the cake
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually mix in sweetened condensed milk. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then the sour cream and vanilla until smooth. Pour in prepared pan. Place pan on top of a cookie sheet to avoid leakage. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until slightly brown along the edge. Center will be slightly soft. Turn off the oven, open the door and let cake cool inside for about an hour. Chill overnight. Garnish with cherries.


Anonymous said...

This looks so good! Thanks for sharing a piece of your mom with us. -- Friend from NJ and DC

Kierra Makayla said...

Looks so delicious!

krystynaodomirok said...

Hi, Yvonne, I just made your mom's cheese cake ,,, thank you for sharing ,,, krystyna kozak odomirok

Yvonne said...

I hope you enjoy it!