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Woolworth cheesecake is more like a mousse than a cheesecake. It’s delicious, light and lemony.
I’ve been around a long time and have fond memories of the Woolworth lunch counter. Some bigger stores had booths too. As I say, I had fond memories since my mother would treat me to lunch there when I was little.
The one thing I don’t remember is this cheesecake. Maybe it was before my time or maybe I just never noticed it because I was more into hot dogs and fries at that age than desserts; especially at Woolworth’s.
Anyway, I’m sure it existed. The recipe is always floating around on message boards and social media and I’ve wanted to make it for a long time.
There’s Some Changes Made
As I mentioned, I’ve wanted to make this for a while but one thing stopped me–whipping evaporated milk. I’ve tried that before and it’s a pretty tedious process since everything must be just “right” for it to work. I’ve never had much success with it, but if you don’t mind the time investment and have a good success rate with it, then use that.
Then one day with a non-senior moment, I realized that I can substitute that whipped evaporated milk with honest-to-goodness real whipped cream. For one thing, it’d taste much better and I have 100 per cent success with real whipped cream especially when I stabilize it with some no-cook clear jel. If you stabilize it with cream cheese, that’s a great way to do it for this dessert since it already contains cream cheese.
If you don’t want to bother with any of the above, I don’t see any reason why whipped topping can’t be substituted. It may break down if the dessert sits for more than a day, but trust me, this dessert won’t last that long.
The amount of graham cracker crumbs called for here will produce a reasonably sturdy crust even with setting some aside for dusting the top of the dessert.
If you like the taste of a graham cracker crust the amount is probably OK. While I like the taste, I found using the stated amount a bit overpowering for the texture of the filling and the taste. You may want to use less–as I will do the next time I make this.
- 3 oz package lemon gelatin mix like Royal or Jello
- 1 cup boiling water
- 3 cups graham cracker crumbs divided
- 8 tbs melted butter
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 5 tbs lemon juice
- 12 oz can evaporated milk well chilled or 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- Dissolve gelatin mix in boiling water. Cool until slightly thickened.
- Mix 3/4 graham cracker crumbs and melted butter until well blended, press into bottom of the 9 X 13 pan to form a crust. Save rest of crumbs to sprinkle on top of dessert.
- Beat the Evaporated milk/heavy cream until fluffy.
- In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice with mixer until smooth.
- Add thickened gelatin and slowly mix in whipped evaporated milk.
- Spread filling over the crust and sprinkle with reserved graham cracker crumbs on top.
- Chill at least 2 hours and up to overnight, store covered in refrigerator.