Recipe Wednesday

My Great-Grandma Kate’s Cheesecake

In many of my books you’ll hear me talk about cheesecake as a dessert favorite. It is a staple in our family, however, the cheesecake I make is unlike any other you have ever eaten. My Grandma Ned, Great-grandma Kate’s daughter, used to call it cheese pie. It is made in a pie pan, not a spring form pan like most cheesecakes, and it doesn’t have a crust.

Most cheesecake is rich and heavy. This one is light and fluffy. It is also super easy to make and beyond heaven delicious!


16 oz softened cream cheese

2/3 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

4 eggs


16 oz sour cream

2tbls sugar

1tsp almond extract


Thoroughly grease the sides and bottom of a 9” pie pan. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, add softened cream cheese, vanilla, sugar and 1 egg, beat thoroughly, add 1 egg at a time, continuing to beat at medium speed on mixer, until all eggs are added and small bubbles form in the mix.

Pour contents into greased pie pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 and remove from oven to cool. The cake will “fall” in the center as it cools.

In small bowl, mix sour cream, sugar, and Almond extract (you can use vanilla, if you do not like almond.)

Smooth topping over cooled pie and place back in the oven for ten minutes at 350 degrees.

Refrigerate pie before serving. (Best if cold)

This recipe has been in my family for over 100 years. Grandma Kate was born in 1889 and passed in 1985. She was one of 13 children, and went to work at age 8 in a box factory, folding boxes. At age 12 she worked in a shirt factory, putting in collars and cuffs, and made more money than anyone else in her family because she was so good at her job. She often worked twelve to sixteen hours a day and they would hide her and the other children in a back room when the inspectors came.

She married for the first time at age 16 and had two children. My great-Aunt Ruth and my Grandmother, Edna or Ned, as everyone knew her. Her first husband dropped dead on the street. They believe now he died from influenza. My Grandmother was only two when he passed and never knew her step-father wasn’t her real father. That was quite a shock! She didn’t find out until she was in her sixties and then wondered if she was legally married, because she had used the wrong name on her marriage certificate. (My Great-grandfather had never legally adopted her.)

Grandma Kate’s second husband, Joe Treybal was a gambler and an inventor. He combined the two and ended up making gambling equipment. He developed the first machines that made dice that rolled “true.” He made dice for Diamond Jim Brady and many other famous gamblers. He even wrote a book on gambling. I guess you could say writing is in my blood.

From the time I could stand up, I was always underfoot in Grandma Kate’s Kitchen. She was a big woman, 5’10” and two-hundred-fifty pounds, and the best cook I’ve ever known. She loved to cook, she loved to eat and she loved to laugh! And she never got tired of me hanging around and bugging her. I still miss her every day.




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