A true New York-style cheesecake—creamy rather than ï¬‚uffy. The secret lies in the single egg which just holds together the heavy cream and cream cheese. Unlike most cheesecakes, this one is not baked in a water bath, and yet its texture is creamy even at the edges.
Cheesecakes originated in Central and Eastern Europe, where they were made with cottage or farmers’ cheese and set on a zwieback crust. The hop and skip to cream cheese and graham crackers, the food writer Joan Nathan says, was made early in the twentieth century with the birth of Breakstone’s, which commercialized cream cheese, and Kraft, which sold both cream cheese and graham crackers. Junior’s, the Brooklyn restaurant where this cheesecake become famous, opened in 1950.
1â„4 cup graham cracker crumbs
3â„4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons sifted cornstarch
30 ounces (33â„4 large packages) cream cheese,
at room temperature
1 large egg
1â„2 cup heavy cream
3â„4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter an
8-inch springform pan. Lightly coat the bottom of the
pan with the graham cracker crumbs, and refrigerate
2. Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a mixer ï¬ t-
ted with a paddle (or mix in a large bowl with a hand
mixer). Beat in the cream cheese. Beat in the egg.
Slowly drizzle in the heavy cream, beating constantly.
Beat in the vanilla.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until
the top is golden, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool in the pan
on a wire rack for 3 hours.
Serves 8 to10
When slicing the cake, use a knife that you’ve run
under hot water (and dried).
OCTOBER 11, 1996: “HARRY ROSEN IS DEAD AT 92: JUNIOR’S RESTAURANT FOUNDER,” BY ERIC ASIMOV. RECIPE ADAPTED FROM NEW YORK COOKBOOK, BY MOLLY O’NEILL.