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Apr 6, 2010 10:13 PM

Cheesecake -New York Style

I'd like to make a creamy New York style cheesecake that is not too tangy. I'd like it to taste smooth vanilla, like "La Rocca" brand cheesecake that u can buy at metro. Does anyone have any receipes that they've tried which are not tangy?

thank you kindly,
exotik1 :)

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  1. My old standby for cheesecake is a recipe I found in Gourmet a while back, it's a classic New York cheesecake and I can't say I've ever tasted a better one:

    (I certainly wouldn't describe it as tangy, but then I don't really ever think of New York cheesecake as tangy).

    2 Replies
    1. re: laura321

      My dad makes a great creamy cheesecake that is very similar. The only changes (off the top of my head) would be to omit the zest and flour.

      1. re: michele cindy

        The Germans put flour in their cheesecakes. I am not a fan of that style. Yuck.

    2. The epicurious recipe, posted upthread, looks suspiously like smittenkitchen's version. Now, that's a classic NY cheesecake.

      BTW, I never think of NY cheesecake as tangy. Big, tall, firm, topped with fruit, perfectly sweet, but definitely not tangy, no sour cream, very little flour:
      Includes nice photos.

      26 Replies
      1. re: bushwickgirl

        The Smitten Kitchen one, which hit my inbox this morning, looks like a really nice recipe, but I am partial to vanilla bean in my NY cheesecake, not lemon and orange rind.

        1. re: roxlet

          Hit my inbox too, how timely for this thread.

          Go for it, I doubt whether you'll miss the zest, and the vanilla bean (I assume you're using the paste?) will be a very nice alternative to any citrus. I find the 1/2 tsp of vanilla in her recipe is not nearly enough vanilla flavor for my taste.

          1. re: bushwickgirl

            I am extremely partial to another Gourmet cheesecake called Katish's Cheesecake. They claim that it is their all-time most requested cheesecake recipe. It's the one I usually make, and it calls for finely minced vanilla bean. When I am feeling truly profligate (and I have several extra beans on hand), I will sometimes scrape the seeds from an entire pod into the batter. It is super delicious. I have used the paste (from Trader Joe's) but I do find it to be a bit gloppy. I prefer either vanilla bean or vanilla extract. However, I am living in Cairo and all I have been able to find here is Philadelphia whipped cream cheese. My one experiment baking a cheese cake with that wasn't entirely a success, so I will most likely hold out making another cheesecake until I return home. I'll bookmark this one though!

            1. re: roxlet

              Hi roxlet, did you see coll's recipe specifically for whipped cream cheese below? You're in!

              1. re: buttertart

                Oooh! No I didn't! Thanks for pointing it out!

                1. re: roxlet

                  Having been an expat myself (in Taipei), I know that no matter how much a place is a foodlover's dream (which it certainly is), sometimes you just have to have a taste of home.

                  1. re: buttertart

                    But Cairo, unfortunately, is decidedly NOT a foodlover's dream. By and large, the restaurants are extremely disappointing, and aside from some good street food items, not one can tell me what Egyptian food is. Most of the restaurants serve "Oriental" food, which is generic mid east food and usually not that good! And finding the ingredients you need is a real challenge. I had to bring my own vanilla because all I could find was the artificial stuff. i finally realized it was because vanilla has alcohol.

                    1. re: roxlet

                      Cairo sounds rather more difficult than Taipei. I hope there are other compensations!

                      1. re: buttertart

                        Squash, the sport not the vegetable, though they do have some delicious white zucchini!

        2. re: bushwickgirl

          I just checked out the smittenkitchen, and it does say at the top of the recipe "Adapted from Gourmet Magazine."

          Looks like an interesting site -- beautiful photos and good taste in cheesecake, I'm definitely going to try some of her recipes.

          1. re: laura321

            I linked it for the photos, knowing that it is an adapted recipe. What's adapted about it, I haven't looked closely enough to tell, but it's not the cheesecake batter. The crumb crust is worded a bit differently, that's all it takes to be an adaptation.

            Sign up for her email. Her photos are always great and her recipes and stories are fun, it's a nice, nice blog.

            Anyway, the cheesecake a great classic recipe, no matter what crust you use, no matter where it came from.

            1. re: bushwickgirl

              What's adapted about her recipes is often nothing more than the wording, which, coupled with the proviso "adapted from" is enough to avoid copyright infringement. I often see people crediting her for recipes from cookbooks and magazines as if she originated them because they discovered the recipes via her blog - which is not to say she's making such claims.

              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                "often nothing more than the wording"

                Agreed, that's what I said. Change the wording and claim "adapted from" and your free to utilize and publish the recipe as you wish, for the most part. I do believe it's not her desire to have the recipes considered her own. I guess her readers don't always notice her noted recipe sources.

                As I wrote, I like her photography and her writings. I frequently see recipes on her blog I attribute to other cookbook authors, but it's nice to have them come to my inbox, rather than go through my cookbooks or search online.

          2. re: bushwickgirl

            did you ever end up comparing the recipes, or have you just made the SK version?

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              I have another recipe I prefer over SK and epicurious, it's a lemon cheesecake, made lighter by virtue of whipped egg whites folded in. Not NY style at all, but personal perference. I like the lighter texture and lemon aspect.

              When I get a craving for NY cheesecake, I send mrbushy over to Junior's for a slice, that fills the bill, and no entire cheesecake around for me to consume.

              1. re: bushwickgirl

                i'm with you on the airier preference - i fold whipped egg whites into mine as well :) i was just curious about a head-to-head comparison of the 2 NY-Style recipes.

                i prefer S&S to Junior's...too bad you can't send mrbushy up to the Bronx when you have a craving ;)

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  I like the whipped egg whites too and I use sour cream instead of all cream cheese; maybe that is the tanginess. I am a big fan of graham cracker crust too, though I use no added sugar. My recipe comes from the old Fanny Farmer cookbook.
                  I also don't use any topping.
                  We have an ice storm coming tomorrow, a perfect day for a cheesecake bake!

                  1. re: magiesmom

                    yes to the sour cream and the graham (or gingersnap) crust...although these days it's easier for me to use a nut meal crust rather than going to the trouble of baking GF graham crackers or snaps first!

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      That makes sense. I take a lot for granted, though I always try not to!

                      1. re: magiesmom

                        i didn't mean to imply anything with my last comment - i certainly hope you didn't take it that way. believe me, even though i may occasionally get frustrated by all my dietary limitations, i still manage to live a rather tasty life :)

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          no, I was just annoyed with myself, certainly not you. I know you have a very tasty life but I also know it is considerable work!

                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    ghg, the SK and eipcurious recipes are very similar, really not much difference in flavor and texure. Either one I consider to be NY style. The famous Lindy's recipe is pretty much the same, all with added flour for a slightly firmer bite.

                    S & S? Not very up on what goes on in the Bronx, except the zoo and the botantical garden. A review I just read stated that S & S is the cheesecake served at Luger's, which I've had, and if true, IIRC, it was very good. Junior's is so much closer for us, but next time we make a foray into Bronx world, I'lll definitely check it out.

                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                      Zabar's sells S&S, but you have to buy the entire cheesecake...which is why i didn't mention it at first ;)

                          1. re: magiesmom

                            Oh, true, and we do a seasonally appropriate cheesecake for Thanksgiving and Easter, definitely for the Fourth, for a group, but none of my friends ought to be eating more than the occasional slice either these days. ;-)

            2. Hmm.. I love vanilla too, but without *some* citrus I don't think you could taste the cheese properly?

              1 Reply
              1. re: blue room

                A little lemon zest or juice "lifts" the flavor, kind of like salt does with savory things. But it's up the the baker. Also, some cream cheese brands are more tangy than others, but Philly (the classic) is not. Rainey's recipe, downthread, has the addition of sour cream for tang and a flavor lift.

              2. This is the first cheesecake recipe I ever used some 40 years ago. It's still my go-to recipe for a basic cheesecake.

                Dream Cheesecake

                Recipe By: Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery


                This very basic cheesecake from Steve's mom's one-a-week grocery store cookbook, is the first I ever made. I've made many others since. This one remains one of my very favorites and it's the standard by which I measure any other contenders. The flavor is rich and delicious. The texture is fantastic. And you can embellish this any way you can think of.


                1/4 cup butter, melted
                1 cup fine graham cracker crumbs, (about 16 large crackers)
                1 teaspoon cream of tartar
                6 eggs, separated
                3 tablespoon sugar
                19 ounce cream cheese, (two 8-oz. packages + one 3-oz.)
                1 1/2 cup sugar
                3 tablespoon flour
                1/2 teaspoon salt
                1 pint dairy sour cream, (16 ounces)
                1 teaspoon vanilla


                Have all ingredients at room temperature. Heat oven to 325˚F. Generously butter a 9-inch springform pan.

                Mix butter and crumbs well. Press firmly into bottom of pan.

                Add cream of tartar to egg whites and beat until foamy. Gradually add 3 tablespoons of sugar and beat until stiff; set aside.

                Beat cheese until soft. In another small bowl, mix remaining sugar, the flour and salt. Gradually beat into cheese. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix well. Fold in egg whites and pour mixture into prepared pan.

                Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until firm. Turn off heat, open oven door and leave cake in the oven for 10 additional minutes. Remove from oven and let stand on a cake rack away from drafts until cool.

                Chill. Cake will shrink a bit as it cools. Also note that if it developed any cracks in baking they will mend themselves as the cake cools.

                8 Replies
                1. re: rainey

                  BTW, I never water bath a cheesecake. And, should this one develop a crack, it will relax back together overnight if you just leave it.

                  It's best made a day ahead too. Gives the moisture a chance to redistribute and the flavor to blossom.

                  1. re: rainey

                    That Woman's Day Encyclopedia is a fount of wonderful recipes. I'm happy to see someone else out there has it!

                    1. re: buttertart

                      Yes it is! Especially when you consider when it was compiled and what the sad state of American cuisine and cooking was at the time!

                      My m-i-l left one volume -- the one with the section on cheesecakes. From that volume I found so many memorable recipes that I searched for *years* for additional volumes. One day I discovered a bookstore that specialized in used cookbooks and found the motherlode -- all 12 volumes.

                      You're only the second person in some 40 years who has ever expressed knowledge of that series. Of the 3 of us who know it there are 3 big fans. ;>

                      1. re: rainey

                        It is amazing, considering. My mom got it for me from the grocery store when I was in high school - I learned A LOT from it. I left that set behind at some point, found a single volume for a buck at the Strand a while back, and then found the rest of it at The Front Page in Rosemont, PA a couple of years ago (a motherlode of vintage cookbooks). A treasure!

                        1. re: buttertart

                          I have the whole series given to me by my aunt many years ago. I confess that I have not looked at them in many years - probably since the late 70's. Maybe it's time to drag a few of them out of the basement and have another look.

                      2. re: buttertart

                        I have the Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery too, and I agree, it is a great source of basic recipes. One step beyond Betty Crocker, I though as a young cook in the late 70's and early 80's, and I also bought it a volume a week at the grocery store.

                    2. re: rainey

                      I am so happy to find this! Of all the cheesecakes I've made/tried (and I've made a few in the last 46 years!), this is, by far, the most delicious, melt-in-your mouth, lightest there is. I actually still have the ENTIRE set of these cookbooks my mother gave me when I was first married but I couldn't remember where I had first seen the recipe and my old computer with the original recipe has gone to computer heaven long ago. Thank you. Also, no one mentions it, but when we are in NYC, Carnegie Deli is our one stop for NY cheesecake.

                    3. I like Emeril Legasses recipe on Food network. If you like don't add the zest and use vanilla or vanilla bean.

                      Classic New York cheesecake has a cookie bottom, I prefer the graham cracker crumb crust.

                      Here are some tips on cheesecake:

                      Have all the ingredients (cheese, eggs, liquids and flavorings) at room temperature before blending.

                      The main trick with cheesecake is gentle, coaxing heat. Just as you want them to cook slowly, you also want them to cool gradually. Quick changes of temperature upset the structure of the cake, causing cracks. For a moister, creamier cake, turn off the heat when the center's still loose and let cool in the oven. Leave the door open for a minute to get some of the heat out.

                      Many cheesecakes are baked in a water bath (a pan of water) to moderate the temperature. Since water remains at a constant temperature, the cake sets slowly, resulting in a super-creamy cheesecake.

                      To prevent the cheesecake from cracking as it cools, run a thin knife around the edge of the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. After chilling, remove the springform ring (but not the metal base).

                      A crack in your cheesecake is not the end of the world. Simply use it as a starting point when cutting your first slice.

                      Dip a knife in warm water and wipe dry before slicing each piece.

                      I use parchment paper to line the pan on the sides.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: tonka11_99

                        "has a cookie bottom" Are you thinking about Junior's? Cookie crust there, the classic of classics NY cheesecake, at it's best, although some people will dispute that. I like it way too much.

                        1. re: bushwickgirl

                          Lots of great tips! :) I might add the teensiest bit of lemon juice to lift the flavor but not enough to make it taste lemony...1/4 easpoon ok or is that too much? I was thinking of adding 3 tsp of flour (no more than that), im guessing the flour binds it all together. I wanted to use 3 vanilla beans but i live in Parkdale, i dont know where to get vanilla beans or paste closeby to King W. /Dufferin, does anyone know?