Sunday, June 10, 2012


The other day I had the urge to bake a cheesecake.  I have no idea where that came from. There are only about five, or probably less than that, recipes that I make which are desserts. One is a classic cheesecake.  Now it's called Vintage. This is one of those recipes that probably has thousands which have been written over the years.  I would classify it in the same category as roasted chicken, lasagna, roasted chicken, lasagna, or roasted chicken, lasagna, or meatloaf (not a typo).

I did not open any of my cookbooks or peruse the Internet. Why bother when I had THE classic vintage cheesecake recipe typed on an index card in my 3"x5 1/2" plastic recipe box from yesteryear.  The original recipe was written on the back of the Argo Cornstarch box more than 30 (or, more likely, 40) years ago.

So I looked at my faded typed tattered index card with misspellings (still misspell today--even with spell-check. Some things never change) and made a list.   Then I headed to the local grocery store to visit the "baking" isle. 

First on the list was graham cracker crumbs.  Non-existant.  So, I went to a larger major grocery store.  Still non-existant.  Okay.  My only alternative at this point was to visit the cookie isle and "hope" that the traditional graham cracker cookies were still being sold.  They were.  The cookies could easily be processed into crumbs and those remaining could be used for dipping into milk.  Wow. We're going way back.

The next surprise was Argo Cornstarch.  No box.  Now it's sold in a plastic container with a screw-top cap.  And, of course, this justifies the price of....Nevermind... And no cheesecake recipe is found on it.

And margarine?  No.  Haven't used margarine in more than 30 years, so it's gonna be butter. (again, not a typo).

However, we will try and adapt the recipe to be more health and heart conscious.  Well, try. We used all "low fat" cheese products and cut down on the sugar. Is it more health and heart conscious?  Don't know, but it sounds good and the result was better than good.   Here goes.

1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 8 oz. packages of low fat cream cheese
1 pound low fat cottage cheese
3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds extracted
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 pint sour cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Grease one 9" round spring-form pan with butter.  Dust with graham cracker crumbs.  Process the cottage cheese in a mixer on high speed. Add cream cheese and continue to process until creamy.  Add sugar and eggs.  Continue beating on high speed.  When well blended, reduce speed to low.  Add lemon juice, vanilla beans, and cornstarch.  Add butter and sour cream.  Beat until well blended.   Pour batter into pan.  Put cheesecake in the oven for about one hour, or until brown forms around edges.  Turn oven off and let cake sit (or rest) for another two hours.

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