A culinary online center dedicated to promoting the importance and the joy of American home cooking with an emphasis on local products and talent, celebrating the unique spirit and energy of the new food world ethos, especially in Vermont.

amuse bouche

I love quotes that add meaning to my life. Here are a few to live by:

Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
—The Dalai Lama

Rhubarb is a metaphor for finding happiness in your own backyard.
—Garrison Keillor

Buy your snacks from a farmers’ market.
—Michael Pollan

Even when he had a garden in Paris, Thomas Jefferson cultivated Indian corn, “to eat green in our manner, …as quickly after it left the stalk as possible.
—Evan Jones, from American Food

The Best Cheesecake in the World

Cheesecake CloseupMany years ago, at a dinner party held at my, then, mother-in-law’s apartment in New York City, I discovered the best cheesecake in the world. In those days, my parents-in-law lived in a beautifully decorated duplex on Park Avenue. It was a wonderful place to be as a dinner party guest because my mother-in-law always had a remarkable European cook in her kitchen. The dinners I remember from that period of my life were often of special note with great creamed soups, marvelous roasts and exceptional desserts–all memorable!

I Couldn’t Resist
But, on this particular evening when the dessert arrived, I was brought up short by what was, I was sure, the best cheesecake in the world. I was so struck by how much better this cheesecake was from any other one I’d ever had, I decided I had to have the recipe. At the end of the evening, I couldn’t resist asking if I could go back to the kitchen and ask the cook for her recipe. 

A Formidable Character
My mother-in-law’s cook was a large, white-haired woman from Alsace. She directed the kitchen staff with a formidable style and no one challenged her authority. For me, a twenty-something year old new bride, she was an intimidating character, someone I would rather have had the most minimal contact with. As I pushed through the swinging door of the kitchen, I almost bumped into her large white-uniformed clad figure. “Excuse me,” I said, “Would you mind giving me the recipe for that wonderful cheesecake?” Wiping the perspiration from her brow, the cook looked surprised and then a small smile shadowed her lips. Her response was to drop the large pan in her hand to the marble-topped table in the middle of the kitchen, and, searching in the pocket of her apron for a pencil, she also found a piece of paper. The next thing I knew, I was standing in the dining room with a recipe in my hands that she’d scribbled from memory on the back of a grocery list. I was in heaven!

Firm and In One Piece
Best cheesecake on table with Amarylis_smAs everyone knows, good cooks rarely give away all their secrets. I spent the following two weeks trying to figure out what I was doing wrong as I made the cake over and over, again.  The cheesecake recipe seemed to have all the appropriate ingredients–cream cheese, eggs, sugar, vanilla, graham crackers and sour cream, but, somehow, each time I made it, the cake was too runny, almost like a ripe brie, when you tried to cut a slice. After the second try, I realized that it wasn’t the ingredients, or the amounts of the ingredients that were wrong. It was the oven temperature and the time the cheesecake spent in the oven. Two more tries and I almost had the timing and temperature figured out. It was the fifth time that the cheesecake came out of the oven that I knew I had finally done it. Slightly golden on the edges, the firm white and glistening sour cream top of the cake looked perfect. And, when I waited until it was cool and cut into it, the first slice came out firm and in one piece. I’d done it.

Enjoy making the recipe being mindful that not all recipes are perfect, especially if they belong to formidable cooks who rule the roost! And, remember, if the borrowed recipe doesn’t work the first time you try it, you may have to try, and try again, making it your own.

The World of Cheese book jacketNote: Many years later, my father, honored me by including my cheesecake recipe in his seminal book on cheese, “The World of Cheese.” 

Without further ado, I present the Best Cheesecake in the World…

 

BRONWYN’S NEW YEAR’S CHEESECAKE
From Evan Jones’ “The World of Cheese”  

Serves 8 to 10 slices 

The Crust
8 double graham crackers, crushed into crumbs
½ cup of granulated sugar
2 Tbs. of cinnamon 
¼ of unsalted butter, melted

The Filling
2 lbs. of cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 ½ Tbs. lemon juice 

The Topping
1 pint sour cream
1 ½ tsps. vanilla
2 Tbs. sugar 

Crush the graham crackers in a large bowl. Add the sugar and cinnamon. Mix the sugar and cracker mixture together. Melt the butter in a small saucepan on the stove. Add the melted butter to the mixture in the bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until the butter has completely saturated the crumb mixture. 

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Using an 8 to 9.5 inch spring pan or flan ring, press the crumb and butter mixture into the bottom and up to an inch on the sides of the pan.

Place the pan onto a cookie sheet to catch the excess butter. Bake for 8 -10 minutes until the crumb crust has lightly browned. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool on the counter, while you reset the oven to 375 degrees, as you:

Beat the cream cheese in an electric mixer or Cuisinart, adding the sugar and lemon juice and mixing thoroughly. Turn the cheese filling into the pan once the crust has cooled to room temperature. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, until done. Reset the oven to 475 degrees, while you: 

Mix the pint of sour cream, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Set aside until the cake is done. Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Pour the topping mixture onto the top of the cheesecake. Smooth the mixture with the back of a wooden spoon or a spatula. Set on the cookie sheet in the 475 degree oven, and bake for 5 minutes or until the edges of the topping have become slightly golden. 

Red amarylis close up

I hope you will enjoy my version of The Best Cheesecake in the World.
Happy New Year!

A Bientot,

Posted: 12-29-2012

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Cheesecake CloseupMany years ago, at a dinner party held at my, then, mother-in-law’s apartment in New York City, I discovered the best cheesecake in the world. In those days, my parents-in-law lived in a beautifully decorated duplex on Park Avenue. It was a wonderful place to be as a dinner party guest because my mother-in-law always had a remarkable European cook in her kitchen. The dinners I remember from that period of my life were often of special note with great creamed soups, marvelous roasts and exceptional desserts–all memorable!

I Couldn’t Resist
But, on this particular evening when the dessert arrived, I was brought up short by what was, I was sure, the best cheesecake in the world. I was so struck by how much better this cheesecake was from any other one I’d ever had, I decided I had to have the recipe. At the end of the evening, I couldn’t resist asking if I could go back to the kitchen and ask the cook for her recipe. 

A Formidable Character
My mother-in-law’s cook was a large, white-haired woman from Alsace. She directed the kitchen staff with a formidable style and no one challenged her authority. For me, a twenty-something year old new bride, she was an intimidating character, someone I would rather have had the most minimal contact with. As I pushed through the swinging door of the kitchen, I almost bumped into her large white-uniformed clad figure. “Excuse me,” I said, “Would you mind giving me the recipe for that wonderful cheesecake?” Wiping the perspiration from her brow, the cook looked surprised and then a small smile shadowed her lips. Her response was to drop the large pan in her hand to the marble-topped table in the middle of the kitchen, and, searching in the pocket of her apron for a pencil, she also found a piece of paper. The next thing I knew, I was standing in the dining room with a recipe in my hands that she’d scribbled from memory on the back of a grocery list. I was in heaven!

Firm and In One Piece
Best cheesecake on table with Amarylis_smAs everyone knows, good cooks rarely give away all their secrets. I spent the following two weeks trying to figure out what I was doing wrong as I made the cake over and over, again.  The cheesecake recipe seemed to have all the appropriate ingredients–cream cheese, eggs, sugar, vanilla, graham crackers and sour cream, but, somehow, each time I made it, the cake was too runny, almost like a ripe brie, when you tried to cut a slice. After the second try, I realized that it wasn’t the ingredients, or the amounts of the ingredients that were wrong. It was the oven temperature and the time the cheesecake spent in the oven. Two more tries and I almost had the timing and temperature figured out. It was the fifth time that the cheesecake came out of the oven that I knew I had finally done it. Slightly golden on the edges, the firm white and glistening sour cream top of the cake looked perfect. And, when I waited until it was cool and cut into it, the first slice came out firm and in one piece. I’d done it.

Enjoy making the recipe being mindful that not all recipes are perfect, especially if they belong to formidable cooks who rule the roost! And, remember, if the borrowed recipe doesn’t work the first time you try it, you may have to try, and try again, making it your own.

The World of Cheese book jacketNote: Many years later, my father, honored me by including my cheesecake recipe in his seminal book on cheese, “The World of Cheese." 

Without further ado, I present the Best Cheesecake in the World...

 

BRONWYN'S NEW YEAR'S CHEESECAKE
From Evan Jones’ “The World of Cheese”  

Serves 8 to 10 slices 

The Crust
8 double graham crackers, crushed into crumbs
½ cup of granulated sugar
2 Tbs. of cinnamon 
¼ of unsalted butter, melted

The Filling
2 lbs. of cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 ½ Tbs. lemon juice 

The Topping
1 pint sour cream
1 ½ tsps. vanilla
2 Tbs. sugar 

Crush the graham crackers in a large bowl. Add the sugar and cinnamon. Mix the sugar and cracker mixture together. Melt the butter in a small saucepan on the stove. Add the melted butter to the mixture in the bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until the butter has completely saturated the crumb mixture. 

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Using an 8 to 9.5 inch spring pan or flan ring, press the crumb and butter mixture into the bottom and up to an inch on the sides of the pan.

Place the pan onto a cookie sheet to catch the excess butter. Bake for 8 -10 minutes until the crumb crust has lightly browned. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool on the counter, while you reset the oven to 375 degrees, as you:

Beat the cream cheese in an electric mixer or Cuisinart, adding the sugar and lemon juice and mixing thoroughly. Turn the cheese filling into the pan once the crust has cooled to room temperature. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, until done. Reset the oven to 475 degrees, while you: 

Mix the pint of sour cream, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Set aside until the cake is done. Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Pour the topping mixture onto the top of the cheesecake. Smooth the mixture with the back of a wooden spoon or a spatula. Set on the cookie sheet in the 475 degree oven, and bake for 5 minutes or until the edges of the topping have become slightly golden. 

Red amarylis close up

I hope you will enjoy my version of The Best Cheesecake in the World.
Happy New Year!

A Bientot,

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Cheesecake CloseupMany years ago, at a dinner party held at my, then, mother-in-law’s apartment in New York City, I discovered the best cheesecake in the world. In those days, my parents-in-law lived in a beautifully decorated duplex on Park Avenue. It was a wonderful place to be as a dinner party guest because my mother-in-law always had a remarkable European cook in her kitchen. The dinners I remember from that period of my life were often of special note with great creamed soups, marvelous roasts and exceptional desserts–all memorable!

I Couldn’t Resist
But, on this particular evening when the dessert arrived, I was brought up short by what was, I was sure, the best cheesecake in the world. I was so struck by how much better this cheesecake was from any other one I’d ever had, I decided I had to have the recipe. At the end of the evening, I couldn’t resist asking if I could go back to the kitchen and ask the cook for her recipe. 

A Formidable Character
My mother-in-law’s cook was a large, white-haired woman from Alsace. She directed the kitchen staff with a formidable style and no one challenged her authority. For me, a twenty-something year old new bride, she was an intimidating character, someone I would rather have had the most minimal contact with. As I pushed through the swinging door of the kitchen, I almost bumped into her large white-uniformed clad figure. “Excuse me,” I said, “Would you mind giving me the recipe for that wonderful cheesecake?” Wiping the perspiration from her brow, the cook looked surprised and then a small smile shadowed her lips. Her response was to drop the large pan in her hand to the marble-topped table in the middle of the kitchen, and, searching in the pocket of her apron for a pencil, she also found a piece of paper. The next thing I knew, I was standing in the dining room with a recipe in my hands that she’d scribbled from memory on the back of a grocery list. I was in heaven!

Firm and In One Piece
Best cheesecake on table with Amarylis_smAs everyone knows, good cooks rarely give away all their secrets. I spent the following two weeks trying to figure out what I was doing wrong as I made the cake over and over, again.  The cheesecake recipe seemed to have all the appropriate ingredients–cream cheese, eggs, sugar, vanilla, graham crackers and sour cream, but, somehow, each time I made it, the cake was too runny, almost like a ripe brie, when you tried to cut a slice. After the second try, I realized that it wasn’t the ingredients, or the amounts of the ingredients that were wrong. It was the oven temperature and the time the cheesecake spent in the oven. Two more tries and I almost had the timing and temperature figured out. It was the fifth time that the cheesecake came out of the oven that I knew I had finally done it. Slightly golden on the edges, the firm white and glistening sour cream top of the cake looked perfect. And, when I waited until it was cool and cut into it, the first slice came out firm and in one piece. I’d done it.

Enjoy making the recipe being mindful that not all recipes are perfect, especially if they belong to formidable cooks who rule the roost! And, remember, if the borrowed recipe doesn’t work the first time you try it, you may have to try, and try again, making it your own.

The World of Cheese book jacketNote: Many years later, my father, honored me by including my cheesecake recipe in his seminal book on cheese, “The World of Cheese." 

Without further ado, I present the Best Cheesecake in the World...

 

BRONWYN'S NEW YEAR'S CHEESECAKE
From Evan Jones’ “The World of Cheese”  

Serves 8 to 10 slices 

The Crust
8 double graham crackers, crushed into crumbs
½ cup of granulated sugar
2 Tbs. of cinnamon 
¼ of unsalted butter, melted

The Filling
2 lbs. of cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 ½ Tbs. lemon juice 

The Topping
1 pint sour cream
1 ½ tsps. vanilla
2 Tbs. sugar 

Crush the graham crackers in a large bowl. Add the sugar and cinnamon. Mix the sugar and cracker mixture together. Melt the butter in a small saucepan on the stove. Add the melted butter to the mixture in the bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until the butter has completely saturated the crumb mixture. 

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Using an 8 to 9.5 inch spring pan or flan ring, press the crumb and butter mixture into the bottom and up to an inch on the sides of the pan.

Place the pan onto a cookie sheet to catch the excess butter. Bake for 8 -10 minutes until the crumb crust has lightly browned. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool on the counter, while you reset the oven to 375 degrees, as you:

Beat the cream cheese in an electric mixer or Cuisinart, adding the sugar and lemon juice and mixing thoroughly. Turn the cheese filling into the pan once the crust has cooled to room temperature. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, until done. Reset the oven to 475 degrees, while you: 

Mix the pint of sour cream, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Set aside until the cake is done. Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Pour the topping mixture onto the top of the cheesecake. Smooth the mixture with the back of a wooden spoon or a spatula. Set on the cookie sheet in the 475 degree oven, and bake for 5 minutes or until the edges of the topping have become slightly golden. 

Red amarylis close up

I hope you will enjoy my version of The Best Cheesecake in the World.
Happy New Year!

A Bientot,

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Cheesecake CloseupMany years ago, at a dinner party held at my, then, mother-in-law’s apartment in New York City, I discovered the best cheesecake in the world. In those days, my parents-in-law lived in a beautifully decorated duplex on Park Avenue. It was a wonderful place to be as a dinner party guest because my mother-in-law always had a remarkable European cook in her kitchen. The dinners I remember from that period of my life were often of special note with great creamed soups, marvelous roasts and exceptional desserts–all memorable!

I Couldn’t Resist
But, on this particular evening when the dessert arrived, I was brought up short by what was, I was sure, the best cheesecake in the world. I was so struck by how much better this cheesecake was from any other one I’d ever had, I decided I had to have the recipe. At the end of the evening, I couldn’t resist asking if I could go back to the kitchen and ask the cook for her recipe. 

A Formidable Character
My mother-in-law’s cook was a large, white-haired woman from Alsace. She directed the kitchen staff with a formidable style and no one challenged her authority. For me, a twenty-something year old new bride, she was an intimidating character, someone I would rather have had the most minimal contact with. As I pushed through the swinging door of the kitchen, I almost bumped into her large white-uniformed clad figure. “Excuse me,” I said, “Would you mind giving me the recipe for that wonderful cheesecake?” Wiping the perspiration from her brow, the cook looked surprised and then a small smile shadowed her lips. Her response was to drop the large pan in her hand to the marble-topped table in the middle of the kitchen, and, searching in the pocket of her apron for a pencil, she also found a piece of paper. The next thing I knew, I was standing in the dining room with a recipe in my hands that she’d scribbled from memory on the back of a grocery list. I was in heaven!

Firm and In One Piece
Best cheesecake on table with Amarylis_smAs everyone knows, good cooks rarely give away all their secrets. I spent the following two weeks trying to figure out what I was doing wrong as I made the cake over and over, again.  The cheesecake recipe seemed to have all the appropriate ingredients–cream cheese, eggs, sugar, vanilla, graham crackers and sour cream, but, somehow, each time I made it, the cake was too runny, almost like a ripe brie, when you tried to cut a slice. After the second try, I realized that it wasn’t the ingredients, or the amounts of the ingredients that were wrong. It was the oven temperature and the time the cheesecake spent in the oven. Two more tries and I almost had the timing and temperature figured out. It was the fifth time that the cheesecake came out of the oven that I knew I had finally done it. Slightly golden on the edges, the firm white and glistening sour cream top of the cake looked perfect. And, when I waited until it was cool and cut into it, the first slice came out firm and in one piece. I’d done it.

Enjoy making the recipe being mindful that not all recipes are perfect, especially if they belong to formidable cooks who rule the roost! And, remember, if the borrowed recipe doesn’t work the first time you try it, you may have to try, and try again, making it your own.

The World of Cheese book jacketNote: Many years later, my father, honored me by including my cheesecake recipe in his seminal book on cheese, “The World of Cheese." 

Without further ado, I present the Best Cheesecake in the World...

 

BRONWYN'S NEW YEAR'S CHEESECAKE
From Evan Jones’ “The World of Cheese”  

Serves 8 to 10 slices 

The Crust
8 double graham crackers, crushed into crumbs
½ cup of granulated sugar
2 Tbs. of cinnamon 
¼ of unsalted butter, melted

The Filling
2 lbs. of cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 ½ Tbs. lemon juice 

The Topping
1 pint sour cream
1 ½ tsps. vanilla
2 Tbs. sugar 

Crush the graham crackers in a large bowl. Add the sugar and cinnamon. Mix the sugar and cracker mixture together. Melt the butter in a small saucepan on the stove. Add the melted butter to the mixture in the bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until the butter has completely saturated the crumb mixture. 

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Using an 8 to 9.5 inch spring pan or flan ring, press the crumb and butter mixture into the bottom and up to an inch on the sides of the pan.

Place the pan onto a cookie sheet to catch the excess butter. Bake for 8 -10 minutes until the crumb crust has lightly browned. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool on the counter, while you reset the oven to 375 degrees, as you:

Beat the cream cheese in an electric mixer or Cuisinart, adding the sugar and lemon juice and mixing thoroughly. Turn the cheese filling into the pan once the crust has cooled to room temperature. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, until done. Reset the oven to 475 degrees, while you: 

Mix the pint of sour cream, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Set aside until the cake is done. Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Pour the topping mixture onto the top of the cheesecake. Smooth the mixture with the back of a wooden spoon or a spatula. Set on the cookie sheet in the 475 degree oven, and bake for 5 minutes or until the edges of the topping have become slightly golden. 

Red amarylis close up

I hope you will enjoy my version of The Best Cheesecake in the World.
Happy New Year!

A Bientot,

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8 Responses to “The Best Cheesecake in the World”

  1. Alexandra Hubbard says:

    Looks like I had better try this one. How are you??? I miss our visits.
    LOL
    Sondra and Alexandra

  2. Bronwyn says:

    You should, Sandra, and then let me know how it turned out. I promise that I didn’t leave anything out of my recipe….so I hope you have good luck with it!

  3. Nadia Roden says:

    I made this last night and we all loved it, like eating a cloud! Thanks Bronwyn!

    • Bronwyn says:

      I know. It’s really a good recipe and I’m so glad I had the courage to ask all those years,ago. So glad you made it Nadia!

  4. Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this blog.

    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’svery difficult to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and appearance.

    I must say you’ve done a great job with this.
    In addition, the blog loads very fast for me on Safari.

    Superb Blog!

    • Bronwyn says:

      I love hearing this…whether you’re talking about the cheesecake recipe or the design of my blog/website, it’s really good news to hear that you like what we do at inthekitchenwithbronwyn.com. Thank you so much!

  5. kelly says:

    This is the book I have and the cheesecake recipe I always use! Everyone loves it and has for years. I searched “Bronwyn Cheesecake” in an attempt to confirm my shopping list and lo and behold, here it is (and a pic of my crazy cheese book!) Thank you :)

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