Grandma’s Lemon Cheesecake Cake

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This is a repost of a blog post I wrote about my Grandmother’s famous (at least to me) Lemon Cheesecake Cake. She would make this for company and she showed me how in the summer of 1972. It is the glaze to the lemon cake that took me a long time to track down. You can use any lemon or yellow cake. My grandmother made lemon cake. To me it seems like yesterday I helped her make this cake in the kitchen of my grandparents bungalow in St. Augustine, Florida.

The kitchen window looked out onto the shaded back yard. The big trees housed an owl family. My grandfather would spend time in the detached garage cleaning fish or putting together the gardening supplies. Maybe it’s time to go back to St. Augustine. Or maybe I will just make the cake to take me back to my childhood.

 

 

My Grandma would have been 109 this November 10th. So, today I created a meal that she used to make when family came to visit. According to my cousin she would have made fried chicken, cornbread, okra, stewed tomatoes and for dessert there would have been two cakes a coconut and her lemon cheesecake cake. She was a Southerner to her soul.

I remember spending the summer of 72 with my grandparents. They lived in St. Augustine, so what kid didn’t want to spend time Florida?  I remember standing in her kitchen by her side and watching her make this cake. It was simple cake but the icing was more of a glaze and it made the cake taste like cheesecake. Well, at least that’s what I remember.

She wrote it down for me, but what young person thinks ahead, and I lost it. It wasn’t until I attended a panel discussion on food memories at my first food bloggers conference that I gave that cake much thought. After that I knew I wanted to recreate that cake.

So, here I am two years later, many inquiries to family members, and hundreds of Internet searches later I think that I found it. It’s like lemon curd but not. The one thing that I really remembered was it made with cornstarch, No?, yes, I know it sounds weird but that’s what’s in it. So it hit me a few weeks ago, I searched the Internet with lemon glaze and cornstarch and there it was on the Argo Cornstarch site for recipes. So, on this what was her birthday I made the cake and a modern interpretation of her meal. I forgot the stewed tomatoes, I made polenta instead of cornbread and you can just forget the okra. Bad memories of seeing that as my grandma scooping it of the big pot. That’s another story altogether.

Lemon Sauce

Adapted from the Argo Website

All the ingredients for the glaze

 

Whisking the corn starch mixture

 

Glazed cake

 

EUREKA, that’s it!

Lemon Sauce

Adapted from the Argo Corn Starch website

Prep time: 10 minutes

Yields 2 cups

Let the glaze completely cool before using. It gets thicker as is cools.

 

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup Argo or Kingsford Corn Starch
  • 1 1/3 cups of water
  • 1-2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon peel
  • 2/3 cup of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine

1. Combine sugar, corn starch, and water in a 2 quart saucepan.

 

2. Bring to a boil of over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in lemon peel, lemon juice and butter until well blended.

 

3. Serve warm or chilled.

 

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