Miss A Columnist

Agaat Den Hertog, Miss A's mother, is a native of The Netherlands and lives in a small town outside of Charlotte, NC. Before she moved to the United States, she worked as the designer for a Dutch children's clothing line. She traveled to Paris, Milan, London and other major European cities looking for new ideas, yarns and colors for the collections. Agaat's passion in life is traveling — there isn't a continent that she hasn't explored. She is involved with the Shelby Presbyterian Church and is passionate about supporting nonprofits such as Samaritan’s Purse.

New York Cheesecake

For years, I have used this recipe, and I still think it is the best cheesecake ever. On a recent cruise, I had a conversation with a New Yorker who told me the best cheesecake is from Carnegie Deli in New York. Our ship stopped in New York on the way back from Europe, so of course I had to check it out. After the best Pastrami Sandwich ever, I could not wait to taste this “cheesecake above all cheesecakes”. I had told several people in the restaurant (the tables are very close together) about my mission. All eyes were on me when I took my first bite. It was glorious! The consistency was creamy, not dry or too light. My best friend who traveled with me told me my recipe is better. I do not agree. To my taste buds they are equal. I have included photos in my recipe so you can compare as you go. Give it a try, it is worth the effort.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

1¼ cup enriched flour
¼ cup sugar
½ cup chopped hazelnuts or almonds
1 tsp fresh grated lemon peel
½ cup butter
1 egg yolk
¼ tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients in food processor until it forms a ball.

Pat 1/3 of dough on bottom of 10–inch spring form pan. ( sides removed)

Bake in 400 degree oven for 6 minutes or until golden.

Cool. Butter sides of pan and attach to bottom. Pat remaining dough on sides.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit

5 8-ounce packages of cream cheese (use regular, not light) at room temperature
¼ tsp vanilla
¾ tsp fresh grated lemon peel
1 ¾ cup sugar
3 T enriched flour
¼ tsp salt
5 eggs
2 egg yolks
¼ cup heavy cream

Stir cream cheese to soften and beat until fluffy.
Add vanilla and lemon peel.
Add flour, sugar and salt gradually to cheese.

Add eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well after each.

Stir in cream and fill the crust lined pan to ¾ inch from top of pan, bake at 500 for 6 minutes or until top edge is golden. Reduce heat to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and bake 55 minutes more.

Remove from oven and cool for 3 hours.

Remove sides and cover with a thin layer of sour cream mixed with a few T of sugar. I cover outer edge with sliced kiwi’s.

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