Grandma Piper’s Cheesecake recipe(s)

My grandma’s cheesecake is truly the best around in my opinion, and it has been a huge hit on the extremely rare occasions I have made it for friends.

It is a little involved to make, you really need to follow the instructions and ingredients quite carefully in order for this to come out right. It takes about a whole afternoon and it’s best to let it chill in the fridge overnight, but it’s very worth it. Also worth the lactase pill, in my case. Can be made 1–2 days ahead of time.

I’ve included variations on the original recipe below because she included these variations in the cookbook she gave me. I’ve never made them myself though, not yet!

Original recipe

Make the crust

Preheat the oven to 425F (218C). Line the base of a 10″ springform pan with a round of parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, stir together 1 c (125g) flour, ⅛ t baking powder, and ⅛ t salt. Next, use a pastry cutter to cut in ½ c (1 stick, 113g) butter. Press this dough in to the bottom of your springform pan and bake at 425F (218C) until browned, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven, and reduce the oven temperature to 350F (175C).

Make the cheesecake mixture

In a large bowl, beat together three 8oz packages of softened cream cheese (240oz / 680g total) and 1 t vanilla essence.

In a separate bowl, beat 4 egg whites until very, VERY stiff. Then add and beat in ½ c (100g) sugar.

Fold the egg white mixture in to the cream cheese mixture.

Assemble and bake

Prepare your pan with the crust by generously buttering and flouring the sides. Take care not to accidentally drop too much flour on the crust.

Gently pour your cream cheese mixture on to the cake crust, then bake for 25 minutes at 350F (175C).

Follow the topping instructions below while the cheesecake is baking.

Baked topping

In a medium bowl, mix together 2 c (485g) sour cream, 2 T sugar, and ½ t vanilla extract.

When the cheesecake is done baking, carefully take it out of the oven and turn the heat up to 475F (218C). Let it cool about 3-4 minutes while the oven comes up to temperature, and then spread the sour cream-based topping on top.

Bake this topped cheesecake for 5 minutes at 475F (218C), then turn the oven off and let the cheesecake cool for about 30 minutes with the door well ajar. This gradual cooling helps prevent cracking.

After the time in the open one, remove it and run a thin blade around the cake to loosen the sides from the pan. Then let it cool completely in the pan on your stovetop before placing the pan in your refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours, ideally overnight.

To serve, remove it from the springform pan by placing it on a can, loosening the springform sides, and letting the sides carefully drop.


Top with raspberry sauce

This recipe is from a friend of Grandma Piper’s, a woman named Barb Wood. She made Grandma’s cheesecake for years and always used this raspberry sauce as a topping. It’s super tasty, and it’s also useful if your cheesecake has unfortunately cracked a little during cooling and you want to tidy it up a bit.

Allow one 10oz package of frozen raspberries to thaw in a small bowl, without draining the juices. Puree the thawed raspberries and juices, then strain through a fine sieve. Press the raspberry pulp to extract as much as possible. Stir in 2 T superfine (caster) sugar and 1 T kirsch.

Spread this over the cheesecake, then chill for at least 4 hours.

Blueberries on bottom

Sprinkle 1 c blueberries over the crust before you pour over the cheesecake mixture and bake at 350F (175C).

Apricot cheesecake

You’ll need one 15¼oz can of unpeeled apricot halves in syrup and one 10oz jar of apricot spreadable fruit. I’m not 100% sure what this is… I’m assuming jam.

Drain the apricot halves, reserving the syrup. Use the fruit for something else, you won’t be using it in this recipe.

When making the cheesecake mixture, add 3 T of the reserved apricot syrup and don’t add any vanilla extract.

While the cheesecake is cooling after you have done the baked topping, prepare an apricot topping. Cook the spreadable fruit in a small saucepan over low heat until melted, then add 2 T of the reserved apricot syrup.

Spread this over the cheesecake, then chill for at least 4 hours.

Chocolate layer cheesecake

Melt 2 oz (56g) semi-sweet (35–65%) chocolate.

Use the original cheesecake recipe above. But once you have made the cheesecake mixture, remove 1 cup of the batter to a medium bowl, then fold the melted chocolate in to this removed batter.

Follow the instructions in the original cheesecake recipe by pouring the white cheesecake mixture on to the base in the buttered and floured tin, then pour the chocolate mixture on top. Bake and top this as per the original recipe.

This would probably be great with the raspberry sauce.