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Thread: New York Cheesecake

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2000

    New York Cheesecake

    I am having a debate with my Husband. I say New York Cheesecake is heavy and somewhat dry in texture. My Husband says when a description calls a cheesecake New York style it is not heavy or dry. It is the very creamy smooth style. Who is right??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    I would have to agree with your DH.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    I really did think that New York style cheesecake was heavy, dense and drier inside??

  4. #4

    "New York Style Cheesecakes are creamy, and smooth, and rich, and dense, and absolutely delicious. There are two popular cheesecakes in America today, the ones made with cream cheese and the ones made with ricotta. John Mariani tells us in his The Dictionary of American Food & Drink that Americans have come to know cheesecakes made with cream cheese as 'New York' (or ''Jewish'), and ones made with ricotta 'Italian'. It is also interesting to note that both types have their roots in immigrant New York City neighborhoods, both start with either a pastry or graham cracker crust, and both use the standard eggs and sugar in their filling. The only real difference being that one uses cream cheese and the other ricotta and that the 'Italian' cheesecake sometimes contains candied fruit."
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    I agree with you, Leonard. The ricotta cheesecakes I've had are lighter in texture and smoother than the NY style cheesecakes. I would say that while NY cheesecakes are creamy, they are also more dense and heavier (and sometimes drier). ADM's posting says the only difference is one is with cream cheese and one is with ricotta - if you think about it, cream cheese is heavier and denser (is that a word?) and ricotta is fluffier - right? Now I want some cheesecake!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Whenever I order "New York Cheesecake" at a restaurant, it is always more dense than I like. We had New York Cheesecake at a deli/cheesecake place down in Time Square that supposedly specializes in New York Cheesecake and theirs was also too dense for my liking. I just stick to plain old homemade cheesecake for the best, creamiest texture. Just my 2 cents worth.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    San Ramon, CA
    I agree with you. I don't care for the dry cheesecake at all. I guess I don't like the 'Italian' style (which in my mind is NY). I like a creamy cheesecake like Sara Lee makes or I make with cream cheese.
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  8. #8
    This thread is making me sooooo hungry for cheesecake!!

    When I've ordered New York Style Cheesecake it's always been high, dense and firm.

    We prefer a creamier cheesecake. Although, I've never met a cheesecake I didn't like!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Thank you all for your replies. Interesting info on cheesecakes!

  10. #10
    You're both right & wrong. New york cheesecake is not dry, but it is dense. And its creamy. If you want to make authentic New York style cheescake, I would suggest getting a copy of the book Junior's New York Cheescake Cookbook by Junior's owner-I think his name is Allen Rosen.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    overland park, ks
    When I think New York cheesecake, I think of a tall slice with a texture that is firm, very creamy and smooth with a slight lemon flavor. I wish I had a piece right now!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Hollywood, California
    Most people think of "New York" cheesecake as the Jewish variant which is moist, creamy and VERY dense since it consists almost entirely of cream cheese, eggs, butter and a very small amount of flour.

    Italian cheesecake is drier and although there are plenty of Italians in New York, it is not generally what one would get if ordering "cheesecake" in a dinner or deli or traditional NY restaurant.

    FWIW, here's the Junior's recipe -- I've never made this variant although I have made one in this style -- albeit not with a sponge layer bottom. The Junior's recipe is probably the Platonic ideal of NY Cheesecakes.

    Junior's Famous No. 1 Cheesecake

    From the cookbook Welcome to Junior's! Remembering Brooklyn With Recipes and Memories from Its Favorite Restaurant

    One of the most famous, and best tasting, cheesecakes ever!

    Ingredients for One 9-inch Sponge Cake Layer

    1/2 cup sifted cake flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    Pinch of salt
    3 extra-large eggs separated
    1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    3 drops pure lemon extract
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

    Directions for the Thin Sponge Cake Layer for Cheesecake

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and generously butter a 9-inch springform pan. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.

    2. Beat the egg yolks together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high for 3 minutes. Then, with the mixer still running, gradually add the 1/3 cup of sugar and continue beating until thick light-yellow ribbons form in the bowl, about 5 minutes more. Beat in the vanilla and lemon extracts.

    3. Sift the flour mixture over the batter and stir it in by hand until no more white flecks appear. Then blend in the butter.

    4. In a clean bowl, using clean dry beaters, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together on high until frothy. Gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form (the whites should stand up in stiff peaks, but not be dry).

    5. Stir about 1/3 cup of the whites into the batter, then gently fold in the remaining whites (don't worry if a few white specks remain).

    6. Gently spoon the batter into the pan. Bake the cake just until the center of the cake springs back when lightly touched, only about 10 minutes (watch carefully!). Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack while you continue making the cheesecake filling. Do not remove the cake from the pan.

    Makes Enough for One Cheesecake

    Ingredients for Cream Cheese Filling
    4 8-ounce packages cream cheese (the regular variety not light Neufchatel cream cheese), at room temperature
    1 2/3 cups sugar
    1/4 cup cornstarch
    1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
    2 extra-large eggs
    3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
    Directions for the Cream Cheese Filling

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and generously butter a 9-inch springform pan. Make the batter for the sponge cake as the recipe directs Evenly spread the batter on the bottom of the pan, and bake just until set and golden, about 10 minutes. Place the cake on a wire rack to cool (do not remove it from the pan).

    2. While the cake cools, make the cream cheese filling: Place one 8-ounce package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 mintues, then beat in the remaining 3 packages of cream cheese.

    3. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of the sugar, then beat in the vanilla and heavy cream. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating the bating only until completely blended (just like they do at Junior's). Be careful not to overmix the batter.

    4. Gently spoon the cheese filling on top of the baked sponge cake layer. Place the springform pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Bake the cheesecake until the center barely jiggles when you shake the pan, about 1 hour.

    5. Cool the cake on a wire rack for 1 hour. Then cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it's completely cold, at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove the sides of the springform pan.

    6. Slide the cake off of the bottom of the pan onto a serving plate. Or if you wish, simply leave the cake on the removable bottom of the pan and place it on a serving plate. If any cake is left over, cover it with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

    Makes Enough for One 8-Inch Cake, About 2 1/2 Inches High

    Ingredients for the Macaroon Crunch
    1/2 cup chopped mixed nuts (almonds, peacans, and/or walnuts)
    1/2 cup angel flake coconut

    Ingredients for the Strawberry Topping
    1 quart large ripe strawberries
    1 cup strawberry jelly
    1/2 cup apricot preserves

    Directions for the Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and butter a 9-inch springform pan. Make and bake the sponge cake layer. Make the cheesecake filling and bake the cake as for Junior's Famous No. 1 Pure Cream Cheesecake. Transfer the baked cake to a wire rack to cool, about 1 hour.

    2. While the cake is baking and cooling, make the macaroon crunch: Spread the nuts and coconut on a baking sheet and toast in a 350 F oven until golden and crunchy, about 10 to 15 minutes. Set the crunch aside to cool.

    3. To prepare the strawberries: Wash, hull, and sort through the strawberries, then pat them dry with paper towels. Starting at the outside edge of the cheesecake, arrange the berries on their sides, in rows, with ends pointing toward the edge of the cake. Continue until the top of the cake is completely covered by strawberries.

    4. Now make the strawberry topping: Melt the strawberry jelly and apricot preserves together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Strain and drizzle the warm jelly over the berries.

    5. Sprinkle the macaroon crunch ina 1 1/2-inch border around the edge of the cheesecake, covering the berries around the outside edge. Loosely cover the entire cake with plastic wrap, being careful not to let the glaze stick to the wrap.

    6. Refrigerate the cake until it's completely cold, at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove the cake from the pan and serve it chilled. Wrap any leftover cake in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Metrowest MA
    The epitome of New York style cheesecake is Lindy's. Unfortunately, Lindy's Deli closed years ago, but the cheesecake lives on.
    ~ ~ Leslie ~ ~

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Dallas, TX
    Personally, the cheesecake I remember eating as a kid in New York is a ricotta cheesecake (and I'm Jewish, not Italian). However, I agree, that most people seem to mean a cream cheese cheesecake when they refer to New York cheesecake. Confusing, huh?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Ozone Park, NY
    As an Italian living in New York, I must say that to me New York Cheesecake is the dense and rich cream cheese version.
    The cheesecake made by Junior's and Lindy's. NOT the ricotta version, which you could not pay me enough to eat. I personally don't like it.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Arlington, WA
    Long ago, someone sent us what my mother called a " New York style cheesecake" at christmas. it was dense, tall, dry, had a touch of lemon and didn't have a graham cracker crust. the crust tasted and had the texture of wet paper. She hated it!

    my mother made cheesecake often and used cream cheese and a graham cracker crust and often a fruit or sour cream topping. she hated lemon and always tossed that gift cheesecake because "no one" would eat it.

    I don't remember the brand but it was expensive and completely unlike what we thought was "cheesecake". .
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