About 30 years ago John brought a piece of this delicious cheesecake home from work for me to try. A co-worker, Jo-Ann Gerard, had brought one of these cheesecakes back from her father’s bake shop in Cherry Hill, NJ, just on the other side of the river from Philadelphia. Apparently, her dad, Mr. Bosco, used to make this cheesecake all the time in his bakery. It is very rich, and because it uses 5 blocks of cream cheese, whipping cream, cherry pie filling, and both orange and lemon extracts, it is not necessarily the cheapest cheesecake you will ever make. But it is really tasty.
We make this for special occasions like birthdays. Even though it is her father’s recipe, we’ve always referred to this as Jo-Ann’s Cheesecake. The original name, however, was Philadelphia Cheesecake. I’ve adapted it slightly from the original version.
Here is a look at it.
Here’s another view.
Here’s what I did.
To make the crust you need a couple of teaspoonfuls of grated lemon peel. This is so much better than getting the stuff out of the spice jars. It usually takes about half a lemon to get enough.
Mix flour, sugar, egg, lemon peel, vanilla, and softened butter until it forms a ball. The recipe calls for just the egg yolk, but I use the whole egg because it is too dry to work with otherwise.
Stir ingredients together.
Prepare a 9×13″ baking dish by spraying with Baker’s Joy cooking spray.
The recipe calls for this dough to be rolled out and then fitted into the pan. I don’t mess with all that. I sprinkle a little flour on the bottom of the pan and on top of the dough and using my fingertips I stretch the dough to fit into the bottom of the pan. You can substitute a graham cracker crust but this crust is so delicious and easy I’ve tended to make it instead.
This is what the crust looks like after fitting it into the pan.
In a large mixing bowl place softened cream cheese. I laid mine out on the counter for a couple of hours while I was making other things so it was nice and soft to work with.
Cream the cream cheese with a mixer.
Add sugar and mix again.
Here’s what it looks like.
You will need 3 different extracts. I increase the vanilla amount from 1/4 tsp. to about a teaspoon.
Add flour and extracts.
Add 5 whole eggs, and 2 egg yolks.
Mix eggs into cheesecake batter.
You will need whipping cream–but not this much! Only 1/4 cup. If you purchase a large container like this it is excellent for making chowders. Regular milk will separate and even curdle with high temperatures, but cream won’t.
Add whipping cream and mix into batter.
Pour cheesecake batter onto prepared crust. Place on lower rack (about a third from the bottom of oven) and bake at 500 for 10 minutes and reduce heat to 250. Bake 1 hour.
I have baked this at 500 for 10 minutes and then reduced to 250, I have baked it at a steady 250 and nothing I do changes the fact that it develops cracks in it (usually when cooling). That is why I always serve with cherry or strawberry pie filling on top of the cheesecake rather than spooning over the top.
Here it is ready to serve.
Here’s the piece for the birthday boy!
Here’s a look at the cheesecake with one piece missing.
Here’s another close up.
Here’s another picture. Yum, yum!
Here’s the recipe.
JO-ANN’S CHEESE CAKE
(Recipe adapted from Jo-Ann Gerard, Cousin Corporation of America, Clearwater, FL. Original recipe from her dad, Mr. Bosco, and called Philadelphia Cheesecake)
1 cup flour
¼ cup sugar
1 egg yolk (I use the whole egg)
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
½ tsp. vanilla
¼ cup soft butter or margarine
Blend together and pat into 9×13” glass dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. The original recipe called for this dough to be rolled out on a floured board and placed in a 9×13″ pan. I have done it both ways and decided to just pat it into the pan instead. Saves a little work and the other way did not increase appearance or taste. You may substitute a graham cracker crust.
5 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. vanilla (original recipe was 1/4 tsp.)
2 egg yolks
1 ½ tsp. lemon extract
1 ½ tsp. orange extract
¼ cup heavy cream
Cream until smooth the cream cheese. Work sugar into cheese mixture until fluffy. Add flour and extracts. Mix well. Add eggs one at a time, yolks last. Mix well. Beat in cream last. Pour overtop of crust in pan. Bake at 500° for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250° and bake for one hour.
NOTE: When baking at this high of a temperature you may need to cover with foil so top doesn’t brown too darkly. This also causes the cheesecake to crack every time. Unfortunately, even when baking at 300° the entire time for about 1 ½ hours or longer, cracks will appear when cooling.
NOTE: Add 2 cans cherry or strawberry pie filling over top if desired.
Who wants the next piece? Sorry, birthday boy took the rest home with him.
Here’s a close up.
One more picture of the piece for birthday boy to tantalize you with.