Making a New York Style Cheesecake

“New York-Style” here refers to density. I’d say the traditional New York cheesecake was either lemon or vanilla flavored, but obviously this has changed a lot.

Cheesecakes are tricky, and I had to ruin a bunch before I could make one good one.

But you don’t have to, once you know a few basic safeguards.

Cheesecakes like to be baked in a moist environment. Many books call for springform pans, but for several reasons we prefer regular 9” non-aluminum round pans. (As we mention elsewhere, we don’t like or trust aluminum. A doctor wrote to the New York Times—therefore it’s true, right?—that while there is no proof that just because brains of Alzheimer patients contain large amounts of aluminum, it cannot yet be stated with certainty that there’s a causal relationship between Alzheimer’s and aluminum cookware. But, he added, since there are many other health problems proved associated with aluminum, it’s a good idea not to use it. Of course, this doesn’t mean aluminum-bottomed cookware, like those made by the wonderful All-Clad, should be avoided, since the aluminum does not come in contact with food.)

If you want to use springform pans for you’re cheesecakes, fine, but here do use aluminum wrap on the outside of the pans—because the aluminum won’t come in contact with the food.

When mixing the cheesecake batter in a mixer (getting married? Ask someone to get you a Kitchen-Aid and you’ll stay married, to it, forever), blend well but try not to over-blend. If you do, the batter will tend to soufflé, but it will fall eventually and taste good, though possibly not quite as good.

– Jerry

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