With Mother’s Day just two days away, it seems only appropriate that I post this cheesecake today. After all, mom made it. And she was particularly proud of this one. She’s been making the most amazing cheesecakes for as long as I can remember. And most of the time, they have a big crack running through the middle. But not this time. This one’s a beauty.
Mom’s the one who taught me to cook. I still call her frequently with questions about how to cook something. My style may be a bit different – she’s not into Korean and Vietnamese and such. But many of my favorite recipes came from her, like my leek and potato soup and angel hair pasta with chicken, white wine and garlic. They were my favorites as a kid and have now become regulars with my family.
After all, isn’t that what cooking is all about? Sharing a meal with family or friends? Mom may have taught me a ton of recipes, but she also taught me what a joy it is to cook for others. We held great parties when I was young and now I love to do the same, hosting friends in my home and cooking for them. Mom gave me a kitchen towel a few years ago that pretty much sums up my thoughts on cooking: “Love people. Cook them tasty food.”
So stop by for a slice of cheesecake, or a bowl of soup, or a steak. Our door is always open. And Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, but especially mine.
Note: this is adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style. But mom made a few changes and uses a slightly different sauce.
- 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 2½ pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1½ cups sugar
- 5 whole extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup seedless strawberry jelly (not jam)
- 2 cups fresh raspberries
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- To make the crust, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Pour into a springform pan and press into the bottom and corners. Bake for 8 minutes then cool to room temperature.
- Raise oven temperature to 450F.
- To make the filling, cream the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs and egg yolks, 2 at a time, mixing well. With the mixer on low, add the sour cream and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and pour into the cooled crust.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 225 degrees F and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and open the door wide. The cake will not be completely set in the center. Allow the cake to sit in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 2 to 3 hours, until completely cooled. Wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- To make the sauce, melt the jelly in the microwave or a small pan over low heat. Cool slightly, then stir in the raspberries. Serve over the cheesecake.