Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New York Cheesecake

This recipe comes from a blog called www.momswhothink.com. It is a good cheesecake recipe. I just don't understand why you need to add butter to it. I did use the butter but it seemed unnecessary to me. I would definitely recommend that you absolutely make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. I also recommend cooking this or any cheesecake in a water bath or Bain Marie. It definitely helps prevent cracking. Supposedly, the addition of flour and/or cornstarch also help prevent cracking. I was under the impression that cold air would cause the cheesecake to crack so I figured that leaving it in the oven the extra hour after it was turned off would help. I have to tell you that my cheesecake cracked anyway. That is why I would take the time to use a water bath next time I make this cheesecake. I am not sure that I would use the butter next time. Also, please take the time to read the tips that I included from various blogs at the end of this post. They are very informative and helpful tips on making cheesecake. I learned a very simple way to fix the cracked cheesecake that I also included for your information. The fruit toppings both came out very nice. I did not make a crust for this cheesecake. It was great without it. This cheesecake was a big hit at my Easter dinner.

New York Cheesecake


2 cups sour cream, room temperature
1 lb. ricotta cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, melted
1-1/2 cup sugar
16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
3 Tbsp. flour
3 extra large eggs, room temperature
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. lemon juice


1. Combine sour cream and ricotta cheese in a large mixing bowl. Beating at low speed, add butter, sugar and cream cheese.

2. Increase speed to medium and add flour, eggs, vanilla, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Beat for 5 minutes.

3. Pour into a buttered or greased spring form pan. Wrap the bottom of the spring form pan with aluminum foil. Place the spring form pan into a roasting pan. Add water to roasting pan filled halfway to the top. (Ban-Marie)

4. Bake in preheated 325F oven for 1 hour, then turn off oven and leave in closed oven for one hour longer. Cool on rack.

Optional Crust:

1/3 cup butter, melted
1-1/2 cup cinnamon graham cracker crumbs

Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter; press evenly on bottom of 9 inch pie pan.




1-1/2 pints (3 cups) blueberries

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon cornstarch


Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat.

Bring to a simmer, and cook until berries break down, about 4 minutes.

Let cool, then refrigerate, covered, until cold (or up to 3 days).



1 package (12 oz.) frozen raspberries

1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla


In a small saucepan, stir together cornstarch and sugar.

Add water and 1 cup of the frozen raspberries. (Set remaining berries aside.) Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until mixture begins to boil. Cook mixture for an additional minute, then remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Let stand until cooled. Stir in remaining berries and chill for at least 1 hour. Spread sauce over cheesecake before serving. Any remaining sauce can be served on the side.


The bain-marie comes in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and types, but traditionally is a wide, cylindrical, usually metal container made of three or four basic parts: a handle, an outer (or lower) container that holds the working liquid, an inner (or upper), smaller container that fits inside the outer one and which holds the material to be heated or cooked, and sometimes a base underneath. Under the outer container of the bain-marie (or built into its base) is a heat source.

Typically the inner container is immersed about halfway into the working liquid.

The smaller container, filled with the substance to be heated, fits inside the outer container, filled with the working liquid (usually water), and the whole is heated at, or below, the base, causing the temperature of the materials in both containers to rise as needed. The insulating action of the water helps to keep contents of the inner pot from boiling or scorching.

When the working liquid is water and the bain-marie is used at sea level, the maximum temperature of the material in the lower container will not exceed 100 degrees Celsius (212 F), the boiling point of water at sea level. Using different working liquids (oils, salt solutions, etc.) in the lower container will result in different maximum temperatures.

Unmolding from the Pan:

  • To unmold the cake from a springform pan, first run a thin bladed knife around the edge to loosen the crust from the sides of the pan. Open the clamp and expand the sides of the pan and release the bottom. Carefully slip the tip of a sharp knife between the crust and pan bottom, slip the cake off the pan bottom and onto a serving plate.
  • To unmold the cake from a cheesecake pan, the pan needs to be slightly heated to release the cake. First run a thin bladed knife around the edge to loosen the crust from the sides of the pan. Dip the pan into a bowl or sink of very hot water that reaches about ¾ of the way to the rim, and hold in place for 10 to 15 seconds. Dry the pan with a towel, and then invert it onto a plate that is covered with plastic wrap. If the cake doesn’t come out, dip and try again. Or, instead of dipping in hot water, place the pan over a stovetop burner at medium heat and rotate the pan so that the entire bottom becomes slightly heated, taking about 5 to 10 seconds. Once it drops out of the pan, quickly invert the cake onto a clean serving plate, right side up.


  • Cheesecake can be difficult to slice because the creamy filling sticks to the knife. Dental floss is one of the best-kept secrets in a cheesecake kitchen. Take a long strand of unflavored dental floss, either waxed or unwaxed, stretch it taut, and gently press it through the cake. Don’t pull the floss back up through the cut you have made, instead pull it out when you reach the bottom. If the floss does not cut through the crust, finish cutting with a thin, sharp knife.
  • If using a knife instead of dental floss to slice the cake, use a sharp straight-edge knife. To make clean slices, warm the blade in hot water, dry and slice. Clean and dry the knife after each cut. As you cut, pull the knife out from the bottom of the cake to keep the surface smooth.

Hints to Prevent Cheesecake from Cracking

  • Do not overbeat the cheesecake batter. Incorporate as little air into the batter as possible. The ingredients must be well blended, but excessive beating creates too many air bubbles which cause the cheesecake to puff up too much during baking, and then crack as the cheesecake settles when cooling.
  • Let the filling rest about 5 minutes before pouring into the pan to allow air bubbles to rise to the surface.
  • Before baking, run the point of a sharp knife between the cheesecake and the side of the pan about ½ inches down. This will help prevent cracks as the cake bakes and cools.
  • Open the oven door as little as possible while baking, especially during the first 30 minutes. Drafts can cause a cheesecake to crack.
  • Bake in a slow oven. 325 degrees F is ideal, and no higher than 350 degrees F. If the oven temperature is too high the surface of the cheese cake will dry out, forming cracks.
  • Do not over bake. Cheesecakes continue to bake during the cooling process. Over baking can cause the cheesecake to crack.
  • Do not use a knife or toothpick to check for doneness as this may cause the cheesecake to crack.
  • After removing from the oven run a thin knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cheesecake. This allows the cake to contract away from the sides of the pan as it cools, helping to prevent cracks.
  • Allow plenty of time for the cheesecake to cool. Plan on making cheesecake at least 1 day ahead of serving. If a warm cheesecake is rushed into the refrigerator, the cake will contract dramatically, causing cracks. Allow the cake to cool completely to room temperature, and then chill in the refrigerator at least 12 to 24 hours before serving.

If your cheesecake cracks even after you have taken all the above precautions (as mine did), I recommend you try this: Let cheesecake cool in the refrigerator over night. Take it out in the morning and press together the cracks with clean fingers. Then get a butter knife and a bowl of warm water. Dip the knife in the water and scrape the flat side of the knife over the top of the cheesecake. If you are lucky, the cheesecake will look like it has never been cracked after you do this process. It worked for me. Good luck.