Mom has been making this recipe for many, many years. It’s very, very rich and you only need a thin slice, but you’ll be back for more. It’s great for breakfast cold from the fridge. I’ve never made it with the original zwieback, but I think it’s still available in the baby food section of the store. I think it’s denser than New York Cheesecake.
- 24 slices (6oz.) zwieback, finely crushed (about 2 2/3 cups)
- or graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 2 1/2 lbs. cream cheese, softened
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- 4 eggs (about 1 cup), slightly beaten
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup heavy cream or sour cream
Make sure the eggs and cream cheese are at room temperature.
Combine the crumbs, confectioners’ sugar and half of the lemon peel in a bowl; blend thoroughly. Using a fork, evenly blend in the butter or margarine.
Reserving 3/4 cup of the crumb mixture (optional, I don’t), turn remainder into a buttered 9-in, spring-form pan. Press crumbs very firmly into an even layer on bottom and sides of pan to the rim. At this point I like to pre-bake the crust in a 350°F oven for 12 – 15 minutes. This will make a crispier crust than the original recipe. Reduce the oven to 250°F.
Combine the cream cheese, sugar flour, remaining lemon peel, and extracts in a large bowl. Beat slowly until smooth. (Don’t beat for a long time or your cake will crack. It may anyway.)
Add the eggs and egg yolks in thirds, beat-thoroughly after each addition. Blend in the cream. Turn mixture into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Sprinkle reserved crumb evenly over the top, if you reserved them. I don’t.
Bake at 250°F 2 hrs. Turn off oven. Let cake remain in oven about 1 hr. longer. Remove to cooling rack to cool completely in spring-form pan (4 to 6 hrs.).
Chill several hours or overnight before serving.
You may bake this in a water bath which will help prevent cracking. However, the crust doesn’t get as crunchy. It’s a trade off. My last one didn’t crack at all without the water bath.
Over beating the mixture may promote cracks.
One half the recipe will fill a 6″ springform pan very nicely. Which is what you see in the pictures of Mom’s 90th birthday. We celebrated just the two of us under 2020 Covid-19 Social Distancing rules.