Best-Ever Cheesecake

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READY IN: 2hrs 30mins
Recipe by writelea

This cheesecake has been the all-time favorite of my family since it appeared in the 1981 issue of Woman's Day Dessert Lover's Cookbook (magazine). We like it topped with ready-made cherry pie filling, but I have submitted the recipe with a pineapple topping as originally written. With 40 ounces of cream cheese, it is simply the richest, best tasting cheescake we have ever had. This recipe does not call for a hot water bath during baking, so I'll leave that decision up to you. Also, I have used a 10-inch springform pan with no problems. It still makes a nice tall cheesecake. Prep and cooking times are approximate and do not include cooling/chilling time. Because of the amount of time it takes to prepare, bake, cool, and chill, I usually make this the day before I need it. I hope you like it...enjoy!

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. For the crust: In bowl combine flour, sugar and lemon zest. Make a well in center; add egg yolk, vanilla, and butter. Blend with fingertips or fork until mixture resembles a crumbly rich cookie dough. Divide dough into two parts, one part slightly larger than the other. Grease a 9-inch springform pan; remove rim. Shape the smaller part of the dough into a ball; place in bottom of pan. Top with waxed paper; roll to edge, reserving any excess dough. Remove paper. Bake in preheated 400F oven 6 to 8 minutes; cool. Divide remaining dough into four equal parts; roll each part between two pieces of waxed paper into 3x8 inch strips. Reassemble springform pan. Remove top sheet of waxed paper from each pastry strip. Place one strip of pastry at a time along inside rim of pan; press against rim; remove paper. Repeat with remaining pastry strips, overlapping ends each time and pressing to seal.
  2. For the Cream Cheese Filling: In large bowl of mixer beat cream cheese, sugar, flour and lemon zest until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until thouroughly combined. Stir in milk and vanilla. Spoon cream cheese filling into prepared pan. Bake in preheated 450F oven 10 minutes. Reduce oven to 250F and bake 1 hour and 20 minutes longer. Cool on wire rack until cold.
  3. For the Pineapple Topping: In small saucepan combine pineapple and cornstarch. Cook and stir until mixture boils and thickens. Stir in vanilla; cool. Spread topping over cooled cheesecake. Cover lightly and refrigerate until cold. Loosen crust from pan with knife or spatula. Remove rim. Garnish with sliced strawberries, if desired. Makes about 16 servings.

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