"I have been making this cheesecake since 1945, when it was given to me by a neighbor in Philadelphia," Elizabeth K. Ward writes. "I use it for family, guests and my bridge club. I'm still receiving compliments for it. Some friends have said they can detect a slight apple flavor in the cake."
17 single graham crackers, finely crushed
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs, separated
Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
Grated peel of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix graham cracker crumbs with butter in bowl. Press half of mixture onto sides and bottom of 7- or 8-inch pie dish. Reserve half of crumbs for top of pie. Beat egg yolks well in bowl. Mix in condensed milk. Add lemon juice, grated peel and vanilla.
Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into yolk mixture. Turn into cracker crust and sprinkle with remaining crumbs. Bake at 400 degrees 10 minutes. Do not overbake. Chill overnight. Makes 6 servings.
--ELIZABETH K. WARD