The NY Cheesecake: A little History and a Yummy Recipe

Photo by kimberly-vardeman
By Neha Sharma

Isn’t cheesecake the best thing in the world? Of course it is! Just name it and we bet, you’ll be left craving for it.

Cheesecake is one of the most beloved desserts around the globe. While many of us are acquainted with the fact that this creamy dessert has its roots seated in New York, the fact is – it actually dates back much further.

How did the Cheesecake reach New York? 

The Cheesecake didn’t reach New York initially. The first cheesecake was probably produced on the Greek island of Samos. Back then, this delicious dessert was believed to be a powerful source of energy (not to say it isn’t today :)). Even during the first Olympic Games in Greece, in 776 BC, cheesecakes were served to the athletes! Wedding couples were also served and cherished with this amazing dessert.

White Chocolate Rasberry NY Cheesecake. Photo by Sanctum Solitude

During the 18th century, the cheesecake slowly started to look like something we could have recognized today in New York. And today, there are hundreds of amazing recipes available for all sorts of cheesecakes.

The nice thing about cheesecakes, is that it’s simple to bake, with no fancy or complex ingredients, and it can all be done at a reasonable cost. Every restaurant has its own version of the popular New York cheesecake.

Another New York styled Cheesecake. Photo by Pilauricey

The New Yorkers fell in love with cheesecakes back in the 1900s. The credit for the creation of the NY cheesecake is bestowed upon Arnold Reuben, who was also known for his signature sandwiches. Reuben was born in Germany but shifted to America at a young age. The NY styled cheesecake was actually an experiment that Reuben did with a cheese pie. He was invited to a party where he was served with a cheese pie, and he was so dodged by the dish – that he started experimenting with it and came up with what we know today, as the NY Cheesecake.

What makes the New York cheesecake different from other cheesecakes, are the ingredients, so let’s start baking!

Kitchen Time! Let’s Prepare a Delicious Cake Today!

Here is a wonderful NY Cheesecake recipe that you can easily bake at home…

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 large eggs at room temperature
  • 4 8-ounce packages of cream cheese
  • 1.5 cups of sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups of sour cream
  • 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1-teaspoon of fresh lemon juice

Get Ready to Prepare

  1. Take a 10-inch spring form pan and butter the inside of the pan. Around the sides of the pan, wrap a double layer of high-quality aluminum foil tightly and make it conform to the pan. This double layer of aluminum foil helps to prevent water seeping into the pan while you put it into the bani-marie. Preheat the oven to 300°F while placing the baking rack in the center of the oven.
  1. In a large mixing bowl, put the eggs and the sour cream and with an electric mixer blend the mixture well. On the other side, beat the cream cheese in medium-sized bowl until the cheese becomes creamy and smooth. Then, add creamy cheese to the egg-sour cream mixture and beat until smooth.
  1. Now, add cornstarch, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest, and sugar into the mixture and beat them all thoroughly for 2 minutes. Put the mixture onto the prepared spring form pan and place it in a roasting pan. The roasting pan should be large enough to prevent the sides from touching. Place the roasting pan in an oven and pour in very hot tap water to reach halfway up the sides of the spring form pan.
  1. Bake the cake for around 2 hours and 15 minutes, or until the cake is very lightly colored and once the knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Take out from the water bath and very carefully peel the aluminum foil from around the pan. Let it cool at the room temperature for about 4 hours.

Cover and refrigerate until chilled. For best taste chill it overnight.

That’s it! You’ve baked a delicious original NY cheesecake!

About the writer: Neha Sharma runs a successful Bakery in India, called Arena Cakes, and Cheesecakes are among their best-selling delights.