My insider's tip is that the best New York style cheesecake is in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx, not far from where I grew up. S&S Cheesecake is hands down the most delicious cheesecake you can buy on the open market. Their factory doesn't have the most convenient hours, but everyone "in the know" knows that you can get their classic cakes on 238th Street (in the Bronx), at the local bodegas right off Broadway.
This cake(recipe below), is my No. 2 pick. That's really saying something. The cheesecake is another out-of-this-world recipe from Baked, Brooklyn. It's thick, rich, and has a hint of lemony-citrus. The graham cracker crust is perfection and it was very easy to make.
This cheesecake requires a bit of time--not actual work time, but time to bake, cool and then refrigerate. You also need to get the cream cheese to room temperature. If it is too cold it will require excessive beating, which could add too much air to the mixture and lead to cracking (though this doesn't affect the taste). So my advice to you, make this the day before you want to eat it.
Upstate Cheesecake (Courtesy of Baked: New Frontiers in Baking)
Yields 1 cake (This is such a rich cake, you really only need a small slice. We got more than 12 servings out of this cake, but figure out your own portion-size preference based on a 9 inch cake.)
For the Simple Graham Crust
2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 20 crackers in crumbs)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
For the Cream Cheese Filling
40 ounces (five 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (from about 1 lemon)
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
5 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
Make the Simple Crust:
- Lightly spray a 9 inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. (I used my traditional 9 inch pie pan.)
- Put the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a large bowl. Beat, by hand, until well combined. Press the mixture into the bottom and all the way up the sides of the prepared pan. Put in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
Make the Cream Cheese Filling:
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, sugar, flour, lemon zest and lemon juice. Beat on medium speed until just combined, being careful not to overbeat (too much air can cause the cheesecake to crack). Add the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the cream and beat until incorporated.
- Pour the mixture into the chilled crust and bake for 10 minutes. Open the oven door to let out some heat, and lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake until the cheesecake is set around the outside, but still slightly wobbly in the center, 45 minutes to 1 hour, rotating the pan every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and spread the sour cream over the top of the cheesecake. Return to the oven for 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat, crack the oven door, and let the cheesecake cool completely in the oven (about 1 hour).
- Chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, loosen the sides of the crust from the pan with an offset spatula, then remove the springform sides and serve. (I just cut a slice with a sharp knife and served!)