New York Cheesecake

Saturday, March 13, 2010

One of the few cheesecakes we tried, since it's so popular at home. And this is one recipe that worked well, considering the rather inexperienced patissier!

They mentioned that what makes a New York Cheesecake 'New York' ish is the extra layer of sourcream on top, that serves two purposes: One, to cover any cracks (could use that one), and two, to top of the taste, and create that extra 'tartness', avoiding a monotonous cake (works well for me). Plus, the extra goodness of pecan on the crust is amazing!!!

This slightly modified recipe makes one 13x9 inch pan of decadent creamy delight. Or a 10-1/2 inch springform pan.

Now I've made this with and without a bain marie, and the trouble to put it together does not totally guarantee a smooth surface, considering the cheesecake is rather 'tall'. However, I have discovered a trick to even out the surface when the sides are risen, but the middle of the cake is still hollow: After taking it out of the oven to cool, elevate the cake on cooling rack, position a towel on either side to 'prop up' a bowl that is inverted over the cheesecake. This serves to steam it, further cooking the middle, and settling the sides. Left it on for 30 minutes. Perfectemento! Still had some small cracks, though on the sides. But the cheesecake cooked evenly and the surface was smooth!


In medium bowl A, prepare crust as follows:
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1-1/2 cups ground pecans
1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp sugar (optional)

In big bowl B, beat together:
4 packs of cream cheese till softened
then add
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream

a. While waiting for the mixer to beat the cream cheese, press crust on to bottom of pan, pyrex or equivalent springform pan. Chill while waiting for bowl B.
b. Then add the creamed mixture of bowl B.
c. Bake for 40 minutes. Bain marie optional.
d. Cool with the inverted dome, making sure there is enough ventilation, so cake doesn't steam!

Meanwhile, in small bowl C, beat together:
1-1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

e. Spread the layer on top, and return to a hot oven for 10 minutes.
f. Cool and refrigerate overnight - toughest part!

Is so desired, serve with a side of

Home-made strawberry compote:
4 cups fresh strawberries, washed, dried and sliced (or a mix of strawberry preserves and fresh)
2 tbsp sugar, or more to taste
1/2 cup Grand Marnier or 2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp cornstarch

My mouth's watering already ...

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