New York-style cheesecake

Matt loves cheesecake. He even took me to Muddy Paws last year, and when does Matt seek out a specialty restaurant? (Let me answer that one – Never!)

I guessed that a homemade cheesecake was overdue. I bought a 7″ Kaiser springform pan from Kitchen Window, a fun gadget store for cooks (like Sur La Table or Williams Sonoma). I pulled out the New Best Recipe and tried their New York cheesecake. It is definitely not for the health conscious. I halved the recipe (original recipe shown below – suitable for a 9″ pan).

5 T unsalted butter, melted
4 oz graham crackers (8 whole crackers), ground to crumbs
1 T sugar

2 1/2 lbs cream cheese – cut into 1″ chunks, room temp
1/8 t salt
1 1/2 c (10.5 oz) sugar
1/3 c sour cream
2 t lemon juice
2 t vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks, room temp
6 large eggs, room temp

[Updated 11/23/17]

Heat oven to 325 F. Grease the bottom of a 9” springform pan (no flour spray). Combine crust ingredients and toss with a fork until evenly moistened. Empty crumbs into pan and press (use a measuring cup bottom and spoon to distribute crumbs evenly). Bake for ~13 minutes or until fragrant and brown around the edges. Cool on a wire rack while making the filling. Change oven temperature to 425 F.

When making filling, the bowl must be scraped repeatedly to ensure complete mixing.

Beat cream cheese at medium-low for 1 minute, scrape. Add salt and about half the sugar, beat 1 minute, scrape. Add remaining sugar, beat 1 minute, scrape. Add sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla, beat 1 minute, scrape. Add egg yolks, beat 1 minute, scrape. Add 2 eggs, beat 1 minute, scrape; repeat until all eggs are added. Filling should be runny and homogeneous.

Apply cake-strips to the pan to promote even cooking. Place pan on a rimmed sheet. Grease sides with butter (no spray). Pour in filling. Bake for 10 minutes and reduce heat to 200 F (do not open the oven). Bake until center of the cake registers 150 F (stick probe in via the side if possible), ~1 hr. Higher temps will cause cake to crack. Cool in cracked-open oven for at least 1 hr, at room temp for ~3 hrs. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, cover in plastic wrap, refrigerate for at least 3 hrs. Bring cake out of fridge ~30 min before serving.

Hah! What is wrong with this picture?!

The cake rose above the rim of the pan but did not spill. It sank back down after cooling. I think I looked at the cake ~60 minutes into the bake time; it seemed woobly and underdone, so I didn’t measure the temp at that time, but by 70 minutes, the San Andreas fault had developed. It still tasted great, and if the texture was “wrong,” neither of us noticed.

15 thoughts on “New York-style cheesecake

  1. Hey-hey-hey — they named that recipe incorrectly. NY cheesecake has FLOUR in the filling. What you made is a variation of a traditional cheesecake, one which looks as if it needs a lot more sour cream. If you want an especially nice texture, whisk lightly by hand instead of using a mixer.

    All custard pies are typically cooked until the knife almost comes clean because they do continue to bake after being pulled from the oven.

    I have a dependable basic cheesecake recipe plus a layered cheese pie recipe, if you’re interested. I used to send DH#1 to the mill with a cheesecake to auction by the slice. Very lucrative!

  2. I’ve found that cheesecakes crack less if you double-wrap the pan in heavy duty aluminum foil and place the whole shebang in another pan filled with very hot water. I think I learned it from a Maida Heatter book.

  3. Hi, June! I’ve baked a lot of cheesecakes in my life (my mom is a huge fan and I’m obsessive), and have gotten that huge crack before. I found that the “faultline” usually means I had overcooked my pie. The volume the cheesecake has (a typical recipe has anywhere from 16 to 24 or more ounces of cream cheese) means there is a lot of carryover cooking. Because of this, I usually take the cheesecake out when it is VERY wobbly- as in, it looks underdone. IT ISN’T. It will continue cooking outside of the oven, because of the heat the pan and the ingredients are holding onto. Taking the cheesecake out when it appears underdone will resulting in a silky, dense cheesecake without a grainy or crumbily texture. If you still get the “faultline,” try 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar.

  4. Hot water bath. Also – try a cheese cake with a separate cream cheese layer. Much better than the slightly too dense NY version. Also prettier.

    Although it is a question of DEGREES of delicious.

  5. The hot water bath scares me but I’ve had good results with wrapping in foil. If it cracks I just treat it as a cutting directive – half for you, half for me!

  6. I’m with Juno and Catherine D – the bain marie is the way to go. Still, I’m sure it was fabulous.
    (My boy & I definitely love that book – it hasn’t steered us wrong yet.)

  7. Don’t be frightened by a hot water bath. I simply place a regular cake or loaf pan of hot/boiling water in the oven with the cheesecake (lower rack) and it seems to steam bake it. Also, turn off the oven at the given time and (trust me) just leave it in 2 hours after. I start propping the door open after an hour-and-a-half or so. Works for me for 35 yrs of cheesecake baking!

  8. I love that recipe – I sometimes make it in a 9×12 pan, with double recipe of the crust, and then cut it into squares.

  9. Spinach pie and cheesecake, yum! I follow your blog because I knit and spin and enjoy your posts, and I’ve never been much of a chef, but I admit I’m starting to feel quite tempted… Thanks for the recipes!

  10. ditto for me on the pan of hot water on the rack below. if you’d like a recipe for a truly memorable chocolate hazelnut cheesecake, let me know.
    if i don’t bake one for the holidays my family revolts 😉

  11. The cheesecake recipe looks delicious. I usually spread a sour cream topping on the cheesecake to hide any cracks. And really, if you’re going to be eating cheesecake, what’s a bit of sour cream/sugar?

  12. June! Please tell me you’re familiar with Alton Brown’s books:

    I thought of you at Thanksgiving when I skimmed through one while waiting for the turkey to get done. His “I’m just here for the food” and “I’m just here for more food” are about the chemistry of baking and cooking. They seem right up your alley!

    Isn’t Kitchen Window the kitchen store in Calhoun Square? I love recognizing places that you name.

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