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Friday, September 23, 2011

Janinne's Cheesecake

Janinne came to Dothan, Alabama after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans.  She lived in Slidell, LA but worked in New Orleans, LA.  Her home had very minimal damage but the dialysis clinic that she worked at in New Orleans was destroyed.  She came to work with us for about six months and she introduced us to her way of life in New Orleans.  We learned about beignets, chickory coffee, king cake, mardi gras, parades, beads, and a dialect much different from our southern drawl.  We were different but we were also the same......we both had a fierce love for our families and home towns. 

Janinne's Cheesecake recipe originally came from her maternal grandmother.  She said that she kept the recipe a secret for many years but decided to share it when her oldest daughter, Roberta, married and requested the recipe.  She said that many people request to purchase a cheesecake from her for events they plan to hostess.  She said she has felt so blessed to have such a successful product. 

Her granddaughter, Emma, likes cheesecake for her birthday and Mimi cheerfully supplies a cake for Emma.

Over the years, she says that many friends and family have raved about her cheesecakes.  They tell her that she should quit her job with DCI to bake cheesecakes professionally.  Others have told her that she should open a storefront and she says that she has seriously considered this and may attempt this venture.  She said that she has baked many varieties of cheesecake - plain, chocolate, pumpkin, turtle, caramel, praline, and even a savory (appetizer) crawfish cheesecake - but the all-time favorite is Janinne's Cheesecake.

                                                     Janinne's Cheesecake

3 - 8 oz. pkg. Philadelphia Cream Cheese
3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Graham Cracker crumbs
Butter or Pam Spray
1 - 16 oz. sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Bring cream cheese and eggs to room temperature.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter or spray well bottom and sides of 9 or 10 inch springform pan.  Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs in pan and shake until all edges are coated.  Set aside.

Blend cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar well.  Add eggs, one at a time, and beat thoroughly after each addition.  When thoroughly blended, add 1 tsp. vanilla extract.  Pour mixture into prepared pan, shaking side to side to level.  Drag spatula through batter to release air bubbles.  Bake 25 to 30 min.  If cake is not solid  in the center, bake an additional 5 minutes at a time until set.  Cool 15 min.

Increase oven temperature to 475 degrees.  Combine sour cream, 1/4 cup sugar, and vanilla; stirring until smooth.  After 15 minutes cooling time, beginning on outer edges, spoon sour cream mixture over cake, and gently level.  Bake 10 minutes at 475 degrees.  Cool thoroughly before placing in refrigerator.  This cheesecake is best well chilled, overnight or longer.

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