The one and only New York Cheesecake recipe you will ever need. Made even more special with a sweet & brûléed topping.
Am I bringing to you two cake recipes in a row? Yes, yes I am indeed. I was planning on waiting with this one, but as I was going through the recipes I am sharing with you this week, I got a little excited when I looked at these images. Given the fact that the cake no longer exists, I couldn’t help but wanting to relive my recent cheesecake experience in the form of today’s post. I hope you can indulge me in yet another cake talk.
Since Friday’s recipe was quite an unusual cake and because cheesecake belongs in its own category, I am actual quite alright with what’s happening right now. Don’t worry, I’ll be giving you lots of variety in the days to come ;).
But let’s move on to the best cheesecake recipe I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying. With my recent trip to NYC, which inspired me to whip up my own version of New York Cheesecake, I can only tell you this much. New York City is absolute boss when it comes to all things cheesecake. It simply can’t be beat!
I think the secret is in copious amounts of cream cheese and the use of more eggs than you can count on one hand. Cheese and eggs – the secret to all things delicious.
But before we get to the main part of this cake, let me fill you in on the crust. The use of fresh vanilla bean, lemon zest, and just the right amount of butter, sugar, and flour, lays an amazing foundation for what’s to come. Ain’t no perfect cheesecake without a yummy crust.
When it comes to the filling, I really have been wanting to give you some tips on how to achieve that beautiful-looking cheesecake that can sometimes be somewhat tricky. I have made my fair share of cracked, sunken, and truly sad cheesecakes in the past. And I would love to share what I’ve learned, just in case you’re struggling or are simply curious.
- Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature. Eggs, cream cheese, even the heavy cream. Ingredients that have had a chance to come to room temp mix and blend much easier and into a smoother filling. Which brings me to tip #2.
- Lumps can oftentimes cause the cheesecake to crack during the baking process, so you want to make sure your filling is also lump and clump free. Mixing everything thoroughly is extremely important.
- Don’t open the oven. Sudden temperature shifts should be avoided at all cost. Cheesecake is delicate and doesn’t deal well with quick changes from warm to cold and back to warm.
- Once the baking process is finished, crack open the oven door and let the cheesecake “cool” inside the oven for 30 minutes to an hour. Remove from the oven, continue to let the finished cheesecake cool at room temperature before transferring it to the fridge to set for at least 8 hours (the long fridge time really develops the full cheesecake flavor and makes the cutting process so much easier – you’ll have beautiful slices that way).
- The very center of the cake should appear to be not quite set. Don’t over bake the cake. It draws out too much moisture and you might be left with some sad cracks.
Once the cake has been properly cooled, comes the brûlée part. If you don’t have a kitchen torch, you can certainly skip this step, but cheesecake gets astronomical better with a caramelized, sweet and crunchy sugar topping. Before you torch the cake (which has been topped with granulated sugar), I highly recommend cutting it into individual slices first. The sugar crust will be hard, much like that of traditional crème brûlée, which can make the cutting process a little tricky. Just a heads up.
Wishing you all a lovely Monday!
This is the ultimate New York Cheesecake recipe. Look no further - you will fall head over heels for this recipe!
- For the Crust:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- For the Filling:
- 2 1/2 lb. cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, more for the brûlée process
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 5 whole large eggs, plus 2 yolks
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Start by preparing the crust. Place flour, butter, sugar, zest, salt, egg yolk, and vanilla bean seeds into a medium bowl. Rub ingredients together with your hands (or a pastry cutter) until a smooth dough forms. Divide into two equal portions and shape both into disks. Wrap in clear warp and chill for 1 hour.
- Press 1 dough round onto the bottom of a 9" spring form pan. Pull off pieces from the remaining dough and press around sides of pan. Set aside and preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together cream cheese, granulated sugar, flour, zests, and vanilla until combined. Add eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition until smooth. Add heavy cream. Pour filling into the prepared pan, and bake until top begins to brown, about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 200 degrees F and bake for 60-75 minutes or until only the very center of the cake appears to be slightly unset. Turn off the oven and let cake rest inside the oven for 30-60 minutes before removing and letting it cool completely at room temperature. Cover cake with clear wrap and chill for 8 hours.
- Cut into 8 slices and top each slice with a good coating of granulated sugar. Using a kitchen torch, torch each slice until golden and caramelized. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from saveur.com.