Erma's Cheesecake
Author: Erma Weinthal
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 75 mins
Total time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Crust/topping:
  • 14 ounces graham crackers (about 24 crackers)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Cream cheese filling:
  • 2 - 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups (1 pint) sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter the bottom and side of a 9" springform pan and set aside.
  2. For the crust/topping:
  3. Combine the graham crackers and sugar in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until it is the consistency of powder. Add butter and pulse on/off until well blended. Set aside ¼ cup of the mixture, which will be used to top the cake. Transfer the remaining crust mixture to the pan and pat evenly onto the bottom and up the sides. Set aside.
  4. For the filling:
  5. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl down as needed. Add the egg yolks and mix until smooth. Blend in the sour cream. Add the vanilla and cornstarch. Set aside.
  6. Place the egg whites in another mixing bowl fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised. Fold the whites into the cream cheese mixture in 2 or 3 additions.
  7. Pour the filling into the pan. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cheesecake. Bake at 325° for 1 - 1¼ hours, the top will crack slightly and will be toasty brown in color. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool completely in the oven before taking it out.
  8. Gently remove the side of the springform pan. Refrigerate for several hours before transferring the cheesecake to a serving plate.
  9. Slide a long metal spatula under the cheesecake and gently rotate it around the springform bottom to loosen the cake. Use the spatula to help guide the cheesecake to a serving plate.
  10. Betsy's tidbits:
  11. The cheesecake may be served directly from the bottom of the springform pan if you do not want to transfer the cheesecake to a serving plate. Simply place the springform bottom directly onto the serving plate instead.
  12. A variation of Erma’s Cheesecake is to top with your favorite fruit topping. Do not remove ¼ cup of the crust when doing this.
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