Follow this recipe from Junior's that we have specially adapted for your home kitchen and you'll soon be slicing up the best cheesecake you've ever tasted.
Alan Rosen of Junior's explains what makes it so special: "It's light but not crumbly, oh-so-creamy but not dense, and with that heavenly cream cheese flavor that makes Junior's New York cheesecake famous the world over."
Original New York Cheesecake
1 recipe 9-inch
Four 8-ounce packages cream cheese (use only full fat), 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 or whipping cream
Makes one 9-inch cheesecake, about 2 1⁄2 inches high
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Wrap the outside with aluminum foil, covering the bottom and extending all the way up the sides. Make and bake the cake crust and leave it in the pan. Keep the oven on.
2. Put one package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl several times. Blend in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, scraping down the bowl after each one.
3. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining 1 1/3 cups sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each one. Beat in the cream just until completely blended. Be careful not to overmix! Gently spoon the batter over the crust.
4. Place the cake in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the springform. Bake until the edges are light golden brown and the top is slightly golden tan, about 1 1/4 hours. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours (just walk away - don't move it). Then, leave the cake in the pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely cold, preferably overnight or for at least 4 hours.
5. To serve, release and remove the sides of the springform, leaving the cake on the bottom of the pan. Place on a cake plate. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Slice the cold cake with a sharp straight-edge knife, not a serrated one. Cover any leftover cake and refrigerate or wrap and freeze for up to 1 month.
To make an 8-inch cake:
Make an 8-inch sponge cake crust and use the cheesecake filling ingredient amounts as follows: three 8-ounce packages cream cheese, 1 1/3 cups sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, 2 extra large eggs, and 2/3 cup heavy or whipping cream. The cooking time will be about the same.
The Junior's Way
Master Baker Michael Goodman says: "Always bake the cheesecake in a water bath, as we do here at Junior's. It keeps the heat in the oven moist and helps the cake bake slowly, gently, and evenly. This helps ensure that your cheesecake comes out of the oven with a smooth top-and no large cracks."
Recipes reprinted with permission from "Junior's Cheesecake Cookbook" by Alan Rosen and Beth Allen (The Taunton Press)
©2007 by Junior's Cheesecake, Inc