The city that never sleeps is not only renowned for its towering skyscrapers, bustling streets, and diverse culture but also for a culinary masterpiece that has won the hearts and palates of people around the world—New York Cheesecake. This iconic dessert is a symbol of indulgence, decadence, and the art of uncomplicated perfection. A true classic, it’s a dessert that embodies the spirit of the Big Apple, bold and irresistibly delicious.
The New York Cheesecake is often regarded as the quintessential cheesecake, setting a high standard in the world of desserts. Its origins are somewhat mysterious, with different tales of its creation, but one thing is for sure—it has a place of honor in the culinary heritage of the city. What sets it apart from other cheesecakes is its simple yet irresistible combination of cream cheese, sugar, and eggs, all embraced by a buttery graham cracker crust. The result is a velvety, rich, and creamy filling that melts in your mouth with every bite.
What truly makes the New York Cheesecake an enduring favorite is its versatility. Whether you prefer it plain and unadorned, with a drizzle of fruit compote, or a dusting of cocoa, this cheesecake accommodates all palates and preferences. Its smooth, dense texture and tangy flavor are a canvas for creativity, allowing for countless variations and accompaniments to suit any occasion.
Join us on a delightful journey through the history and flavors of the New York Cheesecake, and learn how to recreate this iconic treat in your own kitchen. Whether it’s for a special celebration or an ordinary day, a slice of New York Cheesecake will transport you to the heart of the city and provide a moment of pure culinary bliss.
– 5 large eggs, room temperature
– 2 cups (one pint) sour cream, room temperature
– 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
– 8 tablespoons (one stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
– 1/2 cups sugar
– 2 tablespoons cornstarch
– 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
– 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
– 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1. Begin by generously buttering the inside of a 10-inch springform pan. Then, wrap a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil tightly around the outside bottom and sides of the pan, ensuring a snug fit. This step is crucial to prevent water from seeping into the pan when placed in a bain-marie.
2. Position the baking rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 300°F (150°C).
3. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, blend the eggs with the sour cream until the mixture is well combined.
4. In a separate medium-sized bowl, beat the cream cheese with the butter until it reaches a smooth and creamy consistency. Add this cream cheese-butter mixture to the egg-sour cream mixture and continue to beat until it becomes smooth.
5. Add the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest to the mixture, and beat thoroughly for about 2 minutes.
6. Pour the cheesecake mixture into the prepared springform pan. Place the pan in a larger roasting pan or any other pan that is spacious enough to prevent the sides of the springform pan from touching the larger pan.
7. Carefully place the pans in the preheated oven, and then pour in enough very hot tap water into the larger pan to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
8. Bake for approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes, or until the cheesecake is very lightly colored, and a knife inserted in the center emerges clean.
9. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and gently peel the aluminum foil from around the pan. Allow it to cool at room temperature until completely cooled, which should take about 4 hours.
10. After cooling, cover the cheesecake and refrigerate it until it’s well chilled. For the best flavor and texture, it’s recommended to chill the cheesecake overnight. This extended chilling time allows the flavors to meld and develop into the creamy, iconic taste of a New York cheesecake.