Sharing Our Stories Through Food: Cheryl Mirrop’s Cheesecake

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Submitted by Cheryl Mirrop

Many years ago when I was in college majoring in Chemistry, I got a wonderful lab partner to work with.  He had a great understanding of the actual chemistry behind the labs, and I was very strong in math.  So he helped me to understand the chemistry and I helped him with the math.  We worked together in the lab, and afterwards did the homework and documentation together. One evening we took a little break and he served me a piece of cheesecake that was amazing.  I asked him about it, and he replied “I used my strong background in chemistry to find a great combination of ingredients and temperature settings to create this cheesecake.  Many years later I was out with friends, and someone ordered cheesecake and I saw the pecan crust – this gave me the idea to switch the graham cracker crust to pecans and I liked it even better. Later on, I got the idea to add amaretto to make it even more special for yontiff.

Gluten Free Cheesecake (Also non-gebracht for Pesach)


  • 6 ounces of pecans (use whole or 1/2 for freshness)
  • 2 8 oz packages of cream cheese (I prefer Philadelphia)
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 – 3 tablespoons amaretto liquor
  • 1 cup (8 oz) sour cream at room temperature


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Crust:  Grind the pecans in a food processor and put into a 9″ pie pan in 1 mound.  You can use more pecans if you like a thicker crust.  Press into the pie pan.
  3. Filling:  In a double-boiler or over very low heat, melt the cream cheese with the butter, stirring occasionally.  Add the sugar, vanilla, and amaretto liquor.  Stir until all ingredients are mixed.  This seems to take about 40 – 60 minutes.
  4. Pour the hot filling into the crust.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Stir the sour cream until it is creamy. 
  5. Remove the pie from the oven.  Set the oven to 475. 
  6. Immediately, drop small spoons of the sour cream all over the top of the pie. 
  7. Wait about 3 minutes for it to soften from the heat.  Then carefully, smooth the sour cream to cover the top of the pie. 
  8. Bake at 475 for 10 minutes.  After it cools, cover and refrigerate overnight.