I know you’ll find this hard to believe but for the most of the year I try to behave myself around the dinner table. I try to eat healthy and lose weight — stop laughing! So when I indulge in a great dinner or sit down at the holiday table, I’ll carve myself a slice of heavenly goodness, a piece of cheesecake.

In a previous life, I have traveled all across the globe and have dined at some of the best restaurants here in the states and around the world and would indulge in a nice piece of cheesecake as the finale to an outstanding meal. This recipe I am sharing with you is the finest cheesecake I have ever tasted. There I said it.

This recipe was loaned to me under the watch of Brinks Security guards from my good friend Grace. We have worked together on many charities and shared many enjoyable trips and meals throughout New Jersey and the great United States. She procured this classic recipe from her family; it was her great-grandfather’s recipe from when he was a pastry chef at The Plaza Hotel in New York.


There is a painstaking process that Grace’s great-grandfather used with turning the cheesecake every few hours and it took 24 hours to make this recipe into the ultimate cheesecake. I know that during the holidays that wait, turn and cook for 24 hours is not conducive to being able to enjoy the holidays so this is what we are using to make our great recipe.




4 8-oz containers of whipped cream cheese
5 eggs
1⁄4 lb sweet butter
1 1⁄4 cups sugar
16 oz sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla
Jersey Fresh strawberries

How to put it together:

Let cream cheese, sour cream, butter and eggs stand at room temperature for at least one hour – the closer to room temperature the better. Blend cream cheese, butter, and sour cream together, and then add the cornstarch, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice.

Beat in one egg at a time until the mixture is very smooth. Pour mixture into a greased 9 1⁄2 “spring form” pan (make sure to grease the rim). Place pan in a large roasting pan half filled with warm water. Bake at 375 for 1 1⁄4 hours or until top is golden brown. Turn off oven and let cake cool with oven door open for one hour.

Remove from oven and let stand at room temperature for 2 more hours, then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Uncover and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours, then cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving. This cake will rise and then fall. Using room temperature ingredients and changing the temperature after baking is what gives it its consistency.

Before serving, slice up the Jersey Fresh strawberries, lightly sprinkle with sugar and gently mix. Let that sit in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before serving. Top slices of the cheesecake with the strawberries or serve on the side. Enjoy!

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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