And now for our last Thanksgiving post, we’re saving the best for last:  dessert!  (If you’re curious, you can also see the mashed potatoes, veggies, and rolls we made this year).  This is adapted from an old recipe from the New York Times and uses a real pie crust instead of the graham cracker crumble you typically see today.  According to Cyril’s dad, who grew up near the original Junior’s in Brooklyn, this cheesecake tastes exactly like what he remembers having as a kid.  We think that’s a pretty good endorsement, so try this out for yourself.

You’ll need:

  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • A lemon
  • A stick of butter
  • 8 eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • 5 8-ounce packages of cream cheese
  • Heavy cream

First, make the crust by stirring together a cup of flour, 1/4 teaspoon of sugar, and the zest from half a lemon.


dry ingredients_1350x900


Take your stick of butter and cut it up into small pieces, then add it to the flour mixture and use two knives or your hands to combine it in.




Stir in an egg yolk and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract and finish mixing everything together into a dough.




Divide this dough into three pieces and press one third into the bottom of a springform cheesecake pan.




Bake this part of the dough for 6 minutes at 400°F, then set it aside to cool.


baked bottom_1350x900


Meanwhile, beat all of the cream cheese until it gets fluffy in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, then add in the zest from the other half of your lemon and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract.




Stir together 1 3/4 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons of flour, and a pinch of salt in a separate bowl and then slowly pour this in to the cream cheese with the mixer set on a low speed.  Add in 5 eggs, 2 egg yolks, and 1/4 cup cream and beat everything at a medium speed until you have a nice, smooth mixture.




Now grease the sides of your cheesecake pan and use the rest of your dough to form the sides of the crust – they should reach about 2 inches upwards in the pan.




Pour the cream cheese filling into the crust …




… and bake the cheesecake at 475°F for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 200°F and keep it in the oven for an hour.




Let the cheesecake set for least 30 minutes in the oven with the heat off and the door ajar, then either slice and serve it or transfer it to the fridge to eat later.




Totally delicious!  Making this cheesecake with a pie crust instead of graham crackers gives it an extra rich flavor and a nice texture.  You can top the cheesecake with fruits or any kind of dessert sauce, but we think it’s also really good on its own.  It’s not too difficult to make this recipe, so try it out if you want a simple yet tasty sweet ending to any meal.