Sara Lee Original Cream Cheesecake
By Todd Wilbur
In 1949 a bakery owner named Charles Lubin pioneered the frozen-foods business when he invented a top-quality cream-cheese cake for sale in supermarkets and restaurants. He named the cream cheesecake recipe after his daughter, Sara Lee. Though skeptics believed that a frozen baked item could not be sold in large grocery stores, Lubin's original cheesecake recipe was such a success that only two years later, in 1951, he opened the Kitchens of Sara Lee and began to add other items to his line. In the early 1950s Lubin introduced the aluminum foil pan, which allowed his products to be baked, quickly frozen, and sold in the same container. Today the Kitchens of Sara Lee produce more than 200 varieties of baked goods. And few people know that this diverse company has also been successful in manufacturing and marketing coffee, meats, and even pantyhose under the Hanes and Liz Claiborne labels.
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Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.
This recipe is available in
- 1 1/2 cups fine graham-cracker crumbs (11 crackers, rolled)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- Do This
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. For the crust, combine the graham-cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter, and mix well. Use your hands if necessary to combine all ingredients.
3. Press the mixture firmly into an ungreased 9-inch pie plate. Press flat onto the bottom only. Use a cup to keep the crust the same thickness around the bottom of the pan.
4. Bake for 8 minutes, or until the edges are slightly brown. Remove the crust and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
5. For the filling, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, cornstarch, and sugar in the bowl of a mixer. Mix until the sugar has dissolved.
6. Add the butter and vanilla and blend until smooth. Be careful not to overmix, or the filling will become too fluffy and will crack when cooling.
7. Pour the filling over the crust
8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean.
9. Cool for 1 hour.
10. For the topping, mix the sour cream and powdered sugar. Spread the mixture over the top of the cooled cheesecake. Chill or freeze until ready to eat.
Tidbits: If you decide to freeze this cheesecake, defrost it for about an hour at room temperature before serving. You may also defrost slices in the microwave oven if you're in a hurry. Set the microwave on high and zap as follows:
1 slice–15 seconds
2 slices–25 seconds
3 slices–40 seconds
Be sure to refreeze the remaining cheesecake after slicing.
I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker
For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.