Every year since she has left home, DEB has made a cheesecake at Shavuot. It's the traditional food for the spring harvest festival, and quite possibly the only thing that marks out the holiday. However, every Shavuot DEB has to ring her grandmother and ask her for the family cheesecake recipe, because she has failed to inscribe it in any suitable format for retention. (There are, therefore, at least nine copies of this recipe written on the backs of envelopes or scraps of paper. One year it might even have gone on the back of her hand.) She did this ten days ago.

Given the abundance of cheesecake recipes on e2, she has always been somewhat reluctant to add to the over-indulgence. But that changed today. Unlike the majority of family recipes, this didn't come from her grandmother's maternal branch, but from the Carvalho side, her grandmother's paternal branch, and the person who passed on his recipe to DEB's grandmother was buried today. Cheesecake even got a mention in his eulogy. So for the sake of memory, here it is.

Ingrediments serves eight (ish)


Either line a 23cm (9") springform pan with a flan case, or bake a one egg sponge cake mixture into it, and allow it to cool.

Preheat your oven to 180° Celsius.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff and set aside.

Beat together the egg yolks, curd cheese, sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and cornflour until smooth and amalgamated. If you've a KitchenAid, throw it all in the bowl with the beater attachment, set it to a medium-high speed, and leave it to churn for a few minutes. If not, an electric hand-beater should cope without any problems, or you can strengthen your biceps doing it with a wooden spoon.

When that's done, fold in the egg whites using a spatula or metal spoon to retain the air bubbles.

Pour the mixture over your base, and place in the oven for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, turn off the oven, leave the door ajar, and allow the cake to rest there for between 15 and 30 minutes until the mixture has set and there is nothing gloopy.

Once the cake has cooled, cover and refrigerate it. In a household with something resembling restraint, it'll keep for three or four days. It's most definitely best served with coffee, for breakfast.

For a giggle, or perhaps as an abbreviated read, below is the recipe as DEB scribbled it down when on the telephone to her grandmother.

1lb curd cheese
3 eggs
4oz caster sugar
1 tbsp corn flour
1 large carton single cream 284ml
2 tspn vanilla

1 egg sponge mixture base

separate eggs
beat whites stiff
yolks, sugar, dairy, vanilla: beat
fold in whites
gas 4, 45 minutes
turn off oven, allow rest 15 minutes