New York - Cheesecake

New York Cheesecake!!!  I think I knew about New York style cheesecake before I even knew where New York was!  There are so many different types of cheesecake, so what makes a cheesecake New York style?  NY cheesecake is very dense and smooth and is served by itself - no fruit topping.  It also has a shortbread crust instead of a graham cracker crust.  Some recipes call for the crust to come up the sides of the cake while others just have the crust on the bottom.  The signature dense texture of NY cheesecake results from adding extra egg yolks to the cream cheese filling.  

New York style cheesecake made its way onto restaurant and deli menus throughout New York in the early 1900's and has been a favorite ever since.  Lindy's Deli was one of the most famous and popular cheesecake spots in Manhattan so I decided to make their recipe.  

for the crust...

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup butter (softened)


  • in a bowl combine flour, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla extract
  • form a well in the center and add egg yolk and butter.  work with a fork to make a dough.  add up to 2 Tablespoons water, if necessary, to make a pliable dough.
  • form into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour. 

for the filling...

2 1/2 pounds (5 - 8 ounce packages) cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
5 whole eggs
2 egg yolks 
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream 

  • preheat oven to 400 degrees 
  • butter the sides and bottom of a 9 inch springform pan
  • in the bowl of a mixer, combine the cream cheese, sugar, flour, lemon and orange zest and beat well
    • for best results, have the cream cheese at room temperature and beat it smooth before adding the additional ingredients.
  • add the 5 whole eggs (one at a time, mixing as you add each) the 2 egg yolks (one at a time, mixing as you add each) and the vanilla and beat well.
  • add the heavy cream and beat well

assembly and baking directions...
  • roll out one third of the chilled dough on a floured surface; the dough will be very moist and fragile.  roll it out in pieces and evenly press them, with your hands, into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Don't worry if it looks like it is going to fall apart. 
  • bake until golden, 15 minutes, and cool in the pan on a wire rack
  • roll out the remaining dough in pieces and evenly shape them to fit the sides of the pan, a piece at a time.  Make sure that there are no holes in the crust and try to keep the edges neat. 
  • Increase the oven temperature to 550 degrees.  Pour the cream cheese mixture into the crust 
  • Bake for 12 - 15 minutes.  reduce the heat to 200 degrees and continue baking for 1 hour.
  • Turn off the heat and keep the oven door open wide.  Let the cake cool in the oven for 30 minutes
  • chill completely (overnight is best) before serving. 
NOTE:  I found that 1 hour was not enough time for the cake to be cooked through and baked mine an additional 30 minutes.  Ovens vary, so your baking time may be more or less.  You want the cheesecake to feel firm to the touch but still jiggle slightly in the middle.  

I enjoyed this cheesecake but I think next time I will just put the crust on the bottom.  : )