Old-School Secret Recipe

Well worth the effort, this recipe has been handed down for generations and only grown more scrumptious over time. Classic, no-holds-barred deliciousness. Garnish with fresh berries for splash of color.


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1 1/2 cups flour
6 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon rind
5 tablespoons beaten egg (about 1 1/2 eggs)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
2 1/2 pounds* cream cheese, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon rind
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated orange rind
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
*This equals five 8 ounce packages of cream cheese.

Butter or spray the inside of a 10-inch springform pan.
Double wrap the outside of the pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, making it water tight.


  1. Sift the flour into a medium bowl, add the sugar, salt and lemon rind.
  2. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in the chilled butter until mixture resembles coarse, pebbly cornmeal.
  3. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Work the dough lightly with your fingertips until it holds together.
  4. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Using your fingertips, press half of dough onto the bottom of the prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 10–15 minutes until golden brown. Cool thoroughly.
  8. Grease the sides of the springform pan and line with the remaining dough.
  9. Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees.


  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, flour, salt, vanilla, lemon rind and orange rind.
  3. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the cream cheese, beating until smooth.
  4. Add the eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition.

Note: Be careful not to overbeat, too much air will reduce the creaminess of the finished cheesecake.

  1. Add the heavy cream, mixing only until blended.
  2. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 12 minutes.
  3. Without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 200°. Bake for
    one hour and 15 minutes or until the center four-inches "shimmies" a bit. It
    should not
  4. Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to sit for an additional hour in the bain marie with the oven door CLOSED. Then cool it to room temperature with the oven door OPEN.
  5. Remove cake from oven and cool on a metal rack.


  1. Increase oven temperature to 300 degrees and prepare the topping.
  2. Combine the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla.Note: Do not over beat and liquify the mixture or the topping will not set.
  3. Spread over cheesecake.
  4. Bake for 5 minutes.
  5. Cool on a metal rack. Refrigerate until serving.


Preparation Time: 
Preparation time 1 hour; Baking time: 90 mintes; Cooling time 2 hours plus several hours or overnight in the refrigerator.