When Shawn Peled’s mother Mira passed away, he missed two of her recipes most: schnitzel and her cheesecake. Sadly, his mother had left no record of how to make either. Shawn found a list of ingredients for the cheesecake in a notebook from his high school years, but he didn’t know how to measure them — his mom and grandmother had always done it by eye. It took Shawn a couple of years of trial and error, but his version of the cake is now the star item in the pastry case at his cafe Yardsale in Brooklyn. It borrows a bit from Basque-style cheesecake and is wonderfully creamy and rich. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Read more about Shawn’s family on our partner the Jewish Food Society’s website and find more Shavuot recipes in our recipe collection.
4 ½ cups (35 ¼ ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream
5 large eggs
¼ cup all purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 400F/ 200C degrees.
- Put the sugar into a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and gradually mix in the heavy cream and the cream cheese on a low speed for 2 to 4 minutes until completely smooth and shiny. Add the eggs one by one, mixing before adding each one, and continue mixing for 3 minutes. Gradually add the flour, using a tablespoon, while mixing on a low speed for another 2 to 4 minutes.
- Line a 9 inch springform pan with two 16 inch by 12 inch sheets of parchment paper, pressing and overlapping the parchment paper to ensure that all surfaces of the pan are covered. Make sure the sheets of paper stick out of the pan on the top edges by at least 2 inches.
- Pour the cheesecake batter into the lined pan and place it into the oven.
- Bake the cheesecake for 45 to 60 minutes until the top is deeply browned. Check for doneness by lightly pressing your finger onto the center of the cake. It should be firm enough to give some resistance.
- Let the cheesecake cool at room temperature for 3 hours and then refrigerate the cake uncovered for another 3 hours or overnight. Unmold the cake.
- Serve cold or at room temperature.