I can still remember the cheesecake of my childhood.  My mom made it for our family on the holidays and I hear that my brother still requests this as his birthday cake.  He lives closest to my mom, so she is happy to do it.  The recipe came from her friend Mrs. Shepard who lived across the street.  This Easter I finally asked my mom for the recipe.  It's not your typical cheesecake recipe as the egg whites are beaten and it's topped with sour cream, but I'm sure you will love it just the same.  I topped my slice with some frozen sweetened strawberries.



3 - 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened

4 large egg whites

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup granulated sugar


3 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted

2 Tbsp. water


1 pint sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  To make the crust combine the cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup sugar and melted butter in a bowl.  I like to use a fork for easy stirring.  If you need to, you can add up to 2 Tbsp. of water to help the mixture clump.  Spread the cracker mixture into a 13" x 9" pan and work up the sides as pictured below.  Place the pan in the refrigerator while you mix the filling.


Beat the egg whites along with the cream of tartar in a mixing bowl until they are fluffy and hold together well, but not too stiff.  Set aside.  



In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese with 1 cup of sugar until smooth, add in the vanilla and combine well.  Lightly fold in the egg whites and once combined spread onto the prepared crust. 


Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove from oven and let it rest for 15 minutes.  Blend the sour cream together with the 1 tsp. of vanilla.  Spread the sour cream mixture onto the cheesecake and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes at 475 degrees.  Remove from oven and let cool completely.  Store in the refrigerator.  Eat plain or top with your favorite topping.  Enjoy!