The Best Cheesecake Recipe
My mom got this recipe for New York cheesecake from a family friend in the cream cheese business. It’s a home kitchen version of the original Lindy’s cheesecake – which has been a New York institution since 1921.
In fact, Lindy’s (along with Junior’s) made New York cheesecake famous. It’s got sour cream, cream cheese, and heavy cream, so it’s very rich and very creamy. Everyone who has tried it (friends, family, co-workers) says it’s the best cheesecake they ever had!
A few years ago, when I was visiting my friend Betsy, she served me cheesecake for breakfast. It was the best breakfast ever!
I had originally posted this recipe on Squidoo, but now that Squidoo is gone and I have my own blog, I have republished it here.
How to Make a New York Cheesecake
Use a Kitchenaid Mixer!
This cheesecake is thick and rich. You’ll need a Kitchenaid mixer or other powerful mixer to make it. A low-powered or hand-held mixer won’t work.
KitchenAid Five Quart Stand Mixer
The reason this mixer works so well is because it has dual spinning action (planetary motion), which means it spins both on the beater’s axis, and around the bowl. That means it mixes faster and you get more mixing power than ordinary mixers. You also don’t have to keep scraping down the sides of the bowl. You spend less time mixing and more time enjoying your cheesecake.
Some poor fellow tried to make this recipe by hand. It took him two days to mix it! I bet his arm was awfully sore.
If you don’t already have one, you’ll need a springform pan. This one, by Calphalon, is perfect for cheesecake. It’s extra thick to distribute heat evenly, so your cheesecake will cook properly. The fluted base means it won’t leak. Makes cooking cheesecake easy (and a lot less messy).
Cheesecake Topping Recipes
You can eat your cheesecake plain, garnish it with fresh berries, or go all out and make a topping.
Blueberry Cheesecake Topping
1/2 C sugar
3 T cornstarch
1 pint fresh blueberries (or use frozen)
2 T lemon juice
1 T butter.
Combine everything except the butter in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until it gets thick. Add the butter and let cool.
2 C raspberries
1 C sugar
1 T cornstarch
Combine berries, sugar, and some water. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 3 minutes. In a separate, small bowl, mix the cornstarch and a little water. Add to the berry mixture. Cook, stirring, for five minutes, or until the sauce thickens.
Temperature control is critical when baking cheesecake. Too high, and your cake will be hard and dry, more likely to weep (pull out all the moisture) or crack; too low and it will fall apart. Get this thermometer to check your oven and make sure your cheesecake comes out perfect!
1 C heavy cream
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
Melt chocolate and cream over very low heat (or use a double boiler). Stir constantly until smooth and thick. Pour it over a chilled cheesecake. Spread quickly before it hardens. Once the cake is covered with chocolate, return to the fridge to set. Keep any leftover ganache in the refrigerator, covered. If you want to reuse it, reheat it gently.
1 pint strawberries
1/3 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Chop the strawberries. Set aside about 1/3. Add the remaining berries to a saucepan with the sugar and vanilla. Cook over medium high heat. Stir occasionally, until it thickens. Puree the mixture with an immersion blender (or use a regular blender). Then add the uncooked berries, and serve over your cake.
(Topping recipes adapted from Baking 911)
Cheesecake Baking Tips
Keep the oven door closed and it shouldn’t crack.
Cheesecake keeps well in the fridge and freezer.
Make it ahead and defrost when you need it.
A Note on Measurements
For anyone confused about the measurements (why 1/2 pint instead of 1 cup), it’s because pints and cups are different depending on whether it’s a liquid or solid volume of measure (yeah, it’s confusing), so a half pint of sour cream is not the same quantity as a 1/2 pint of heavy cream.
It’s also easier to measure that way, since the heavy cream comes in half pints and the sour cream comes in pints (just pour the entire container of cream, or half the container of sour cream, into the mixture).
If you don’t have sour cream where you live, you can use crema salvadorena instead.
After Lindy’s, there’s Junior’s, born in Brooklyn, and now famous worldwide. This cookbook has recipes for all of Junior’s best-selling varieties, from Strawberry Swirl to Cappuccino to Peanut Butter and Jelly!
Become the king or queen of cheesecake with the recipes from this book. One reader on Amazon said her cakes used to come out burned or grainy, but now, they’re perfect every time.
Marcy Goldman’s book on everything from cheesecake to muffins and cookies. Who could resist a recipe with a name like Chocolate Eruption Cheesecake?
This guide to all things baking tells you not only what to do, but why. For example, it explains how the temperature of your ingredients can affect the final result (particularly important in baking), and when to use different fats (oil, butter, shortening). Each step is easy to understand and follow, whether you’re a beginner or an expert.