New York Style Cheesecake

In the mid-nineteen-eighties I made six to eight of these delicious cheesecakes every Monday morning during my time as executive chef at the Hamilton House Restaurant in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York. I hope your friends and family enjoy it as well.
– Chef Monte M.

Recipe Makes 1 nine-inch cheesecake

Whatcha Need:

For the Crust:
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs, finely ground
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:
2 pounds cream cheese (four 8-ounce packages at room temperature)
8 ounces sour cream (room temperature)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs + 2 yolks (room temperature)
Zest of one lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whatcha Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350℉ and place rack in lower third of the oven.
  2. Lightly spray the inside of a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick pan spray. Line sides of pan with a strip of parchment paper. This should be slightly taller than the pan walls. Lightly spray inside of parchment strip, as well.
  3. In a small bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt, and melted butter. Combine well until the consistency of wet sand. Pour cracker mixture into springform pan and firmly press into bottom and slightly (about 1/4-inch) up the sides. Bake for about 15 minutes or until crumbs are set and golden brown. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack for 10 minutes.
  4. Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment beat cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar until smooth on medium speed. Add whole eggs one at a time unit fully incorporated. Add egg yolks, lemon zest, and vanilla extract and mix until totally combined.
  5. Carefully wrap pan with aluminum foil to ensure it is watertight. Pour cheese mixture into pan and set into a roasting pan. Add hot water to roasting pan until it comes halfway up the sides of springform pan and carefully transfer to the preheated oven.
  6. Bake cheesecake for about 1 hour until top is lightly browned, edges are set, and center slightly jiggles. Carefully remove cheesecake from the water bath, remove foil and place on cooling rack for an hour before refrigerating. Cool in refrigerator uncovered overnight.
  7. To serve, remove side of springform pan and parchment strips from cheesecake, cut into 12 to 14 slices and garnish as desired.