New York Style Cheesecake

One of my all-time favorite TV shows is Friends. They stayed on the air for ten years and I never get tire of it.

Remember episode where Rachel and Chandler stop and eat all the stolen from their neighbor’s mail-order cheesecakes ?

This is exactly as I always imagined those would taste, something which makes us want to stop everything, help ourselves to another generously portioned slice, and just moan in bliss. I served it with a blackberry sauce, but honestly, this needs no accompaniment and I think it is even better plain. The texture is absolutely perfect – creamy, thick, smooth and it slices beautifully. And more as you may have noticed there is No CRACKS….Yeah!

Suffice it to say, my search for the perfect cheesecake recipe ends here.

For no cracks on top, this cheesecake can thank to special “water bath” bake, and this is one of the secrets to a truly creamy cheesecake. Because using the water bath method provides a more even,  slower heat source than the direct heat of an oven and this is important for baking foods like cheesecakes, which tend to crack from the heat of the oven. To bake using a water bath, you will need a baking pan that is large enough to hold a springform pan (or other baking dish wrapped in foil to avoid any water from seeping into the pan which would make the cheesecake crust too wet), and is also large enough to allow for water to surround to mid of the springform pan.

  • 6 eggs,room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons (one stick) unsalted butter,room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups sour cream,room temperature
  • 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese,room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Generously butter the inside of a 10-inch springform pan.
  3. Cut two large pieces of foil and lay them on your work surface in a cross.
  4. Set the springform pan in the middle and fold the edges of the foil up around the sides of the pan.
  5. The foil gives you extra protection against water getting into the pan during the water bath step.
  6. In a large mixer-bowl or bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until it is smooth and there are no lumps.
  7. Add the sour cream,sugar,cornstarch,lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla to the bowl and beat on medium-low speed until combined and creamy.
  8. Scrape down the beater and sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  9. Next add the eggs, one at a time, beating slowly until everything is combined.
  10. Pour into the prepared springform pan and place in a roasting pan large enough to prevent the sides from touching.
  11. Bring a few cups of water to a boil and pour the water into the roasting pan, being careful not to splash any water onto the cheesecake.
  12. Fill the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
  13. Bake for 2 hours, 15 minutes, or until the cake is very lightly colored and a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean.
  14. Turn off the oven and crack the door open. Let the cheesecake cool slowly for two to three hours.
  15. Do not try to remove the cheesecake from the pan until it has set up in the refrigerator overnight or at least 6 hours.
  16. This step is crucial for letting the cheesecake set and achieving perfect cheesecake texture — don't rush it.
  17. Unmold the cake and top the cheesecake just before serving.
  18. You can either serve the cake right from the bottom of the springform pan or garnish with blackberry sauce or whatever topping you desire.

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