Made from an old family recipe passed from her aunt to her mother and then on to her, Francine Barton has always considered “Lili’s Light & Lovely Cheesecake” her favorite cake.

“My mom made it for my birthday every year starting when I was 4 years old,” said Barton, a married mother of three who lives in Carmel Mountain Ranch. “Whenever I make this cheesecake for my friends and family they always tell me how much they love it, and it brings fond memories of my mom and my aunt. I think that folding in the egg whites is what makes it so light.”

Born and raised in San Diego county, Barton graduated with a B.S. degree in geology from San Diego State University. She enjoys going to the beach with her family and surfing with her husband. She also hikes and camps, and is a big fan of both the San Diego Padres and the SDSU Aztecs.


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18 full graham crackers (finely crushed)
4 tbsp soften butter
2 tbsp granulated sugar

1 lb of cream cheese
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp grated lemon rind
2 eggs separated
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp crushed canned pineapple in heavy syrup drained

1 1/2 cup cup sour cream
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla

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1.  Mix together finely crushed graham crackers, softened butter and 2 tbsp sugar.
2.  Press mixture into a buttered 10 inch spring form pan.
3.  Cream cream cheese, add sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon rind, blend well, scraping the sides of the bowl.
4.  Add egg yolks one at a time.
5.  Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff.
6.  Fold into cream cheese mixture.
7.  Then fold in the crushed pineapple.
8.  Pour into crust.
9.  Bake for 45 minutes at 300 degrees.
10.  Blend together sour cream, sugar and vanilla.
11.  Spoon evenly over the cooked cream cheese mixture.
12.  Bake another 10 minutes at 300 degrees.
13.  Cool completely, then refrigerate.

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