How to Make Perfect New York Cheesecake
Yield: 12 to 16 sevings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook: 9 hours
Tessa's Recipe Rundown...
Taste: I cannot get enough of the lightly sweet and tangy filling alongside the fresh and tart raspberry sauce. So good.
Texture: The texture is a food paradox. It’s simultaneously rich, dense, and decadent, yet fluffy and velvety and ultra creamy.
Ease: The hardest part is having enough patience to make this recipe! Definitely delayed gratification, every step is pretty simple just a little time consuming from start to finish.
Appearance: This New York-style cheesecake has that deeply golden brown crust which perfectly compliments the bright filling and colorful topping.
Pros: Great staple recipe to have.
Cons: Not even remotely diet-friendly. Sorry!
Would I make this again? Yes, next time I’ll use a higher quality thicker springform pan that can handle the high heat period without burning the crust. I’ll also double up by placing the springform pan on top of another pan to further shield the crust from the high heat.
Over the years I’ve gotten quite a few questions from you guys about cheesecake, and I can understand why there’s confusion. Cheesecake is such a ubiquitous dessert, you can find it at most restaurants and bake shops. Yet there’s about ten trillion ways to make it. I usually like to make cheesecake bars because it takes out a lot of the guess work and is just quicker and easier, but there’s nothing quite as impressive as a towering cheesecake. Especially when there’s no cracks! But how do you accomplish that? Do you use a water bath? What’s a springform pan? Do you bake at a super low temperature? Do you turn the oven off and let the cheesecake cool inside the oven? When is a cheesecake done baking? These are all questions I’ve asked and experimented with different recipes and techniques to find the answers.
The recipe I’m sharing today is my favorite New York-style cheesecake. It’s super tall, ultra rich, and has that browned crust that screams New York cheesecake to me. Best of all, there’s no water bath required. I love that part because water baths can be rough. Many of us don’t have a deep pan large enough to put our springform pan into and if we do, the water is likely to leak into our cheesecake and create a soggy watery mess. The method I’m sharing today is a bit strange but really easy. Just be prepared to buy an outrageous amount of cream cheese.
Basically the method behind this recipe is to start the cheesecake out in a scorching, blazing hot oven for 10 minutes then turn it down super low. This allows us to avoid a water bath while also avoiding cracks, underbaking, or overcooking. In addition to the outrageous amount of cream cheese, there are also a ton of whole eggs and some egg yolks to make sure our cheesecake is rich and velvety. The sour cream in the recipe enhances the tangy flavor and creamy texture. Don’t forget the lemon juice, it helps cut through the richness of the cheesecake for a lovely fresh, tangy bite. Also be sure not to overmix the batter, mix only until smooth! Many of the questions I get asked about cheesecake is how to tell when it’s done baking. It’s not like regular cake where you can stick a cake tester in and immediately know if it’s done, it’s much more elusive than that. So if you struggle with baking cheesecakes to creamy perfection, use an instant-read thermometer to bake it to 150°F. Then you know it’ll be perfect.
Watch the video to see how to make my perfect version of cheesecake!
Perfect New York Cheesecake
For the crust
- 18 whole graham crackers (2 sleeves)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling
- 2 1/2 pounds (five 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, cut into chunks, at room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 large eggs plus 2 yolks, at room temperature
For the topping
- 1 (12 ounce) package frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed OR 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
For the crust:
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray and place the pan on a larger rimmed baking sheet.
In the bowl of a food processor process the crackers and sugar until finely ground. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Use the bottom of a measuring cup, glass, or ramekin to press the crust mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of the pan. Bake until fragrant and golden brown, about 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
For the filling:
Increase the oven temperature to 500°F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese at medium-low speed until it is softened. Add the salt and sugar and beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla and beat on low speed until combined. Add the eggs and yolks, one at a time, until combined, moving slowly. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Pour the filling into the cooled crust and baked for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 200°F and continue to cook for 1 1/2 hours, or until the cheesecake reaches an internal temperature of 150°F.
Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool until just warm, 2 1/2 hours. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
For the topping:
In a small saucepan combine all of the topping ingredients. Heat over medium heat until simmering. Remove from heat and puree using an immersion blender or standing blender until smooth. If desired, strain out seeds. Allow to cool before pouring over the cheesecake.
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