The iconic singer shares her favorite holiday food memories and the hand-written recipe for her mom’s famous cheesecake.
Cher didn’t always believe in sharing—at least not when it came to her mom, Georgia’s cheesecake. Georgia’s desserts were bountiful every Thanksgiving and Christmas, with two cheesecakes, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and apple pie on the table. And yet, the legendary singer says it was always a fight to get a slice.
“We would always have a bunch of people over, and they would all start to slice their cheesecake before we had dinner and then hide it someplace,” she recalled.
Although Cher was tempted to indulge in sweets before turkey, she joked, “My mom would have killed me if I ruined my appetite! But I always reserved a second one in the back of the fridge for later, because the cheesecakes were always the first to go.”
Over the years, she even developed a technique for her two-part cheesecakes-giving. “I preferred two smaller slices because it looks bad on your resume if it’s a big one. So I would start off with a normal-sized piece and then go back for the other one in the middle of the night.”
That, along with Georgia’s cornbread stuffing, were her favorite parts of the holiday, and when her mom passed in December 2022, she was worried she’d never experience those flavors again. Then her sister found the cheesecake recipe (dating all the way back to 1962!) scribbled on an old piece of notebook paper—which the family graciously passed along for us to cher with you. The treat also took on a new life as the now-best-selling flavor of her Cherlato gelato.
HAVE NO DOUBT,.. MOM’S LOVING,PPL’S EXCITEMENT OVER
“ CHER’S MOM’S CHEESECAKE” ICE CREAM.
Look How Beautiful She is.
Just 💄 pic.twitter.com/UMHoMlKMna
— Cher (@cher) September 10, 2023
When Cher was brainstorming flavors for Cherlato with Chef Gianpaolo Grazioli, he recalls asking her what dishes were special to her. She immediately replied, “I want to do my mom’s cheesecake!” Grazioli was admittedly a bit daunted by the “challenge” because he had never made a cheesecake gelato before and hadn’t tried Georgia’s “creamy, delicious, no-crumb-left-behind” namesake dish.
“We were able to create it together, armed with only Cher’s memory and an old, faded notecard with her mom’s original cheesecake recipe. Recreating this recipe was an act of love for both Cher and myself. It was a challenge I was excited to take on, and it came together perfectly,” Grazioli told Allrecipes.
For a double dessert, he suggests topping a slice of pumpkin or pecan pie with the cheesecake Cherlato for a fully loaded á la mode moment.
Cher is still tinkering with the recipe, explaining: “She’s the only person who could do it right, truthfully. Because she’s not here and I know the way it tastes, I’ll be able to make it perfect.”
Cher's Love for Mom Georgia's Cooking
Thinking back to her mom’s cooking got Cher walking down memory lane, recalling how Georgia was “quite a good little cook,” making food that was “not fancy at all, because we were poor, but it was always tasty.”
Some of her favorites were empanadas, mixed beans with ham hock—green lima beans, big pink lima beans, and pinto beans—and comforting fare like her “Hollywood Goulash” and “Sheepherder’s,” a hearty combination of ground beef, potatoes, corn, and peppers.
“I can’t tell you how delicious it was!” she shares. “It doesn’t sound like much, but it was really good, and I don’t know if it was because my mother was making it and she had the touch or it was just good.”
They ate mostly vegetarian because meat was so expensive. Cher proudly recalls how her mom found the “only health store in the Valley” and they would always have a big wooden bowl on the table full of raw nuts and raisins. “When I was real little, I used to think, ‘What is this and why can’t we have dessert?!’ But as I got older, I looked forward to running home and getting into that bowl!”
And as far as a soundtrack to all of this good eating? “Hey Good Lookin’” by Hank Williams is a song Cher and her mom used to sing together—and also the way she’d describe Georgia’s beautiful cheesecake. You can listen to them sing together on “I’m Just Your Yesterday,” ideally while making her mom’s original cheesecake recipe, so graciously shared—or, chered—below.
Georgia’s Cheesecake Recipe
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
25 graham crackers, crushed with a rolling pin
1 teaspoon sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened for 30 minutes
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 “large” (16-ounce) container sour cream
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
Make the crust: In a large bowl, mix together the melted butter, crushed graham crackers, and sugar.
Press into a deep glass pie dish and bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes.
Prepare the filling: In another large bowl, combine eggs, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla using an electric mixer or whisk by hand until smooth. Pour filling onto prepared crust.
Bake for 15 minutes, then cool on the counter for 30 minutes.
Make the topping: Combine sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Spread gently on top of the baked cheesecake and bake again for 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven, let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, and then refrigerate at least 8 hours before serving.
Recipe courtesy of Cher & the Holt family.
Read the original article on All Recipes.