Food & dining

Recipe for Nana’s cheesecake

Karoline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe

Makes one 9-inch cake

The baking instructions may seem fussy, but this is the way Nana did it. You will need a 9-inch springform pan; baking in a water bath helps prevent cracking on the top.


1sleeve of honey graham
crackers (9 crackers), crushed
3tablespoons sugar
2tablespoons (¼ stick) unsalted butter, melted


1. Set the oven at 300 degrees. Have on hand a
9-inch springform pan, and a roasting pan it will fit into. Wrap the outside of the springform on the bottom tightly with heavy-duty foil.

2. In a bowl, stir together cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan; set aside.

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5eggs, separated
1cup sugar
1pound (two 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
1pint sour cream
3tablespoons lemon juice
1teaspoon vanilla
¼teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. In an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until stiff. Transfer to another bowl.

2. Rinse and dry the bowl. Set it on the mixer stand. Attach the paddle attachment (if you have one) or the whisk. Beat the egg yolks and add sugar until combined. Add the cream cheese and sour cream and beat on medium-high speed for 10 minutes or until there are no visible lumps.


3. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand. Gently fold in the egg whites, followed by the lemon juice and vanilla. Pour into the pan. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

4. Place the springform in the roasting pan. Pour in enough water to come about 1-inch up the sides of the springform.

5. Transfer to the oven. Bake for 70 minutes. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake sit for 70 minutes more. Open the oven door slightly and leave the cake inside for another 45 minutes.

6. Lift the cake from the water bath, remove the foil, and wipe the bottom of the pan. Set the cake on a rack to cool completely. Cover the pan and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight before slicing.

Andrea Pyenson

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