Sunday, April 8, 2012

Grandma Tyler's Cheesecake

My Grandmother loved cooking shows and had an amazing collection of recipes. The best of the recipes then were called "her" recipes; she now had a personal ownership over them even if they weren't her original creations. This is the cheesecake I grew up eating. In 2003 I discovered I was allergic to dairy and haven't had a bite since. But today, in honor of Easter I decided to attempt Grandma's cheesecake using dairy free ingredients. I also cut the recipe in half because one 9 x 13 pan of cheesecake is too tempting and I'd have to eat half of it all by myself. First I will post the original recipe, to the original scale (for those who can have regular dairy products).

Grandma's Cheesecake
Prep time 15 min
Cooking time 1 hour (longer if dairy free)
Serves 24 small/12 large pieces
Preheat oven to 300 F

Graham Cracker Crust
1 1/2 cup Graham Crackers crumbs
3 T butter or margarine

Combine and press into a 9 x 13 pan.

3 - 8 oz packages of Cream Cheese
5 eggs
1 cup sugar

Set the cream cheese out at room temperature until softened (30 min, maybe). Beat cream cheese in mixer until smooth. Add sugar. In a separate bowl beat eggs until yokes are separated, add to cream cheese and sugar.

Bake at 300 F for 50 minutes. The center should not be soupy. I usually test this by shaking the pan a little to see if the center wiggles.
Let the filling cool for 10 minutes.

2 cups sour cream
6 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix well, pour over filling. You may need to spread it to cover the filling. Bake 300 F for 10 minutes. Again watch, if it's still soupy add a few more minutes.

Below are the pictures of my dairy free, scaled to half the recipe cheesecake. To make the dairy free recipe I followed the posted recipe using dairy free cream cheese and dairy free sour cream.  Happy Easter!

A few notes regarding my experience when using dairy free products in this recipe:
1) It took much longer to cook both the first and second layer. The first layer took almost 25 extra minutes. I don't know if it was due to my oven or if it was because I was using dairy free. Just keep any eye on the texture, it shouldn't be soupy.
2) There is a taste difference between dairy free and regular dairy cheesecake. Dairy free tends to be sweeter and you don't get that classic cream cheese flavor.
3) I used Trader Joe's cream cheese and Tofutti's sour cream. I was not paid by either of these companies to post this recipe, these products are what I had on hand.

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