Cheesecake is believed to have originated in ancient Greece which I didn’t know. Now a days there are hundreds of different cheesecake recipes, however, every cheesecake has some type of cheese. The most commonly used are cream cheese, Neufchatel, cottage cheese, ricotta, and quark cheese.
Growing up I wasn’t a big fan of cheesecake but that is because it was made out of a type of cottage cheese. I didn’t start liking it until I had the cream cheese type or what is called today the New York cheesecake.
Now I love the New York style cheesecake but I had never made it before. I like the simple plain cheesecake. Nothing on, nothing inside just good creamy cheesecake with crispy bottom and it has to be home made, the store bought is just not the same thing. After doing some research on this kind of cheesecake I found a recipe in my Cooks Illustrated magazine. It takes awhile to cook but it is the best cheesecake ever. You have to make this cheesecake when you have guests coming over, otherwise you will eat the whole thing. Also warning it is very rich and creamy, but that is how I like it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
A common difficulty with baking cheesecakes is its tendency to “crack” when cooled. This is due to the coagulation of the beaten eggs in its batter. There are various methods to prevent this. One method is to bake the cheesecake in a hot water bath to ensure even heating. Other methods include blending a little cornstarch into the batter or baking the cheesecake at a lower temperature and slow cooling it in the oven, turned off, with the door ajar. If these methods fail, a common practice is to cover the top of the cheesecake with toppings such as fruit, whipped cream, or cookie crumbs. Alternatively, cracks can also be repaired by simply using a flat knife and some warm water. After the cake has been chilled for a few hours, simply dip the knife in warm water and mold the cheesecake as if sculpting. Cracks and unevenness can easily be taken care of in this fashion. This method also works well for repairing the sides and giving the final cheesecake a flawless look. For crater size cracks, try using the bits that are stuck on the side of the pan to help repair the damage.
My cheesecake did “crack” when I cut into it but I didn’t follow the steps above nor did it matter to me. It was still delicious. Please share your ideas of how to make the cheesecake taste or not to “crack.”
Cheesecake (New York Style)
Apated from: Cooks Illustrated
Serves 10 to 12 | Prep Time: 30 minutes | Bake Time: 70 minutes
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
2 pounds Philadelphia cream cheese (4 bricks), at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
Heat the oven to 500 F.
Brush the sides and bottom of a 9” spring form pan with butter. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over the bottom of the pan and tilt it to coat evenly with crumbs. Use your hands for this process, you might have to add some more butter.
Beat the cream cheese in a standing mixer until very smooth. Gradually add the sugar and beat on medium speed until sugar dissolves (about 3 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until incorporated and scraping down the sides of the mixer bowl after each addition. Add lemon zest and vanilla and beat just until incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in cream and sour cream with a wooden spoon.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cheesecake at 500 F for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 200, leaving the oven door open until temperature reduces. Bake until the cheesecake’s perimeter is set, but center jiggles when pan is tapped, about an hour. Turn off the heat and use a long-handled fork or spoon the hold the oven door open by about one foot. Let the cheesecake rest for an hour, then place it on a wire rack and let it cool to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake and refrigerate it until chilled, at least 4 hours.