Cheesecake (Mom's Blue Ribbon Winner)
This is a different type of cheesecake. We make it in a 9" x 13" pan and cut it into square pieces. It has the traditional cheesecake bottom with a sour cream topping. Aunt Jackie (Sestili) Varady* got this recipe from her Jewish neighbor and brought it to (my brother) Michael Rulli's bapism party in 1954. It has been a family favorite ever since. In 2003 Nephew Stefan Rulli McIntyre entered this cheesecake in the Butler County Fair (Ohio) and won First Prize. He then sold cheesecakes to Ohio Lunch restaurant (Hamilton, OH) until he went to college at Ohio State. His brother Bradley Rulli McIntyre took over the business until he left for Ohio State in 2006 to attend Pharmacy School. * Aunt Jackie Sestili Varady is my grandma Mary (Sestili) Rulli's youngest sister.
1 1/4 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs (about 20 graham crackers if you make your own crumbs. Place a few crackers in a sealed plastic bag and crush with rolling pin until fine.)
1/4 Cup Sugar
4 Tablespoons Butter - melted (let cool a little - you do Not want to melt the sugar)
Mix together and press into the bottom of a 9" x 13" pan.
In an electric mixer add in order given:
3 8oz packages regular cream cheese (24 ounces) - room temperature. Mix together.
1 1/2 Cups Sugar - add 1/2 cup at a time and blend well into cream cheese.
5 Large Eggs - add one at a time and beat after each egg
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
Beat Mixture for 2 minutes - should be creamy.
Pour mixture over graham cracker crust. At 300° - Bake 1 hour or until knife comes out clean. Cake should look light in color, may have a light brown edge. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Cake will settle. Note: This cake puffs up when baked but will sink down while cooling.
While cake is cooling:
1 Pint Sour Cream - room temperature
1 Cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
In small bowl, place room temperature sour cream. Add sugar & vanilla - Stirring with spoon By Hand until dissolved and smooth. (DO NOT USE MIXER) Pour sour cream mixture evenly over warm cheesecake. Bake at 300° another 7 - 8 minutes (topping remains soft). Topping should be white - do not brown. Remove from oven and cool completely to room temperature. NOTE: I cut into pieces once cake is cooled to room temperature. It will cut smoothly - no jagged or torn edges. THEN refrigerate uncovered for an hour. This will avoid condensation. After an hour of refrigeration carefully cover cake as topping will stick to cover. One tip is to place a cardboard sheet (cut up a cereal box) over the cake pan then cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Cardboard should rest on top of pan - not on the cake.