As a child, the 4th of July always meant a trip to my grandparents’ farm on the banks of the Tennessee River. A day full of climbing trees in Pap’s orchard and stomping through pastures in search of honeysuckle growing wild in the old fence rows left us with a hearty appetite for the dinner that Gram would serve the whole family at giant tables set up in the field closest to the water’s edge. But no matter how famished we were, we made sure to save room for dessert. Independence Day meant her special cheesecake with fresh jam while we waited for full dark and the fireworks that left sparkling reflections in the waves when Pap began his show.
This cheesecake recipe, passed down from her to me, pairs as well with our Marcy Jams as it did with Gram’s own, and I've used the Firecracker Jelly to honor those great family memories. Make it for your own gathering and start your own Independence Day tradition. Happy 4th of July! Beth
1 cup crushed graham crackers
½ cup finely chopped pecans
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 8 oz. Packages cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
4 eggs at room temperature
4 ounces Firecracker Jelly
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Combine crust ingredients in bowl, mixing well.
Press crust into the bottom of a 9” springform pan.
Bake 10 minutes then allow to cool.
Stir together sugar and flour in a large glass bowl.
Mix in cream cheese one package at a time and cream well.
Add sour cream and vanilla; beat 2 minutes on medium speed.
Add one egg at a time with beaters on low.
Stir in jelly with a spatula.
Pour filling over crust, leveling it with the spatula.
Bake 1 hour until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool 1 hour then refrigerate overnight.