If you’ve traveled to NYC before and visited Junior’s, you know about their Famous Pure Cream Cheesecake, to quote them “The Best of the Best!” It is to die for! They have the best crust first of all, it’s actually a Thin Sponge cake Layer. Then the filling is so creamy and rich, you will want to make this a necessary stop every time you visit the city. I have always been intimated by cheesecake, but this one really is easy to make and makes a beautiful presentation. Also if you don’t like it just plain like Pete does, you can add any fruit topping. Morgan our oldest son bought me this cookbook for my Birthday a few years ago. Junior’s Restaurant opened it’s doors in the 1950’s in Brooklyn New York, on the corner of DeKalb and Flatbush Avenue. The three generations of the Rosen family have worked hand in hand to build their restaurant into one of the most popular eateries in the borough today. I have had Cheesecake all over the world and this is my favorite by far! If you have a favorite restaurant for the Best Cheesecake ever, drop me a line and let me know what it is! Thanks for reading, love, Stacey
First the recipe for the Thin Sponge Cake Layer for the Cheesecake. This makes one 9 inch sponge cake layer, 3/4 inch high, enough for one cheesecake.
1/2 cup sifted cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 extra-large eggs, separated
1/3 cup plus 2 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 drops pure lemon extract
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and generously butter a 9-inch springform pan. Sift the cake four, baking powder, and salt together in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
2. Beat the egg yolks together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high for 3 minutes. Then, with the mixer still running, gradually add the 1/3 cup of sugar and continue beating until thick light-yellow ribbons form in the bowl, about 5 minutes more. Beat in vanilla and lemon extracts.
3. Sift the flour mixture over the batter and stir it in by hand until no more white flecks appear. Then blend in the butter.
4. In a clean bowl, using clean dry beaters, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together on high until frothy. Gradually add the remaining 2 Tbs. sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form (the whites should stand up in stiff peaks, but not be dry). Stir about 1/3 cup of the whites into the batter, then gently fold in the remaining whites (don’t worry if a few white specks remain).
5. Gently spoon the batter into the pan. Bake the cake just until the center of the cake springs back when lightly touched, only about 10 minutes (watch carefully!). Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack while you continue making the cheesecake filling. Do not remove the cake from the pan.
For the Cream Cheese Filling
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese (the regular variety, not light), at room temperature
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and wrap the outside of the springform pan with foil, covering bottom and extending up the sides. Place one 8-ounce package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Beat the remaining 3 packages of cream cheese.
2. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of the sugar, then beat in the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating the batter well after adding each one. Blend in the heavy cream. At this point, mix the filling only until completely blended. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
3. Gently spoon the cheese filling on top of the baked sponge cake layer. Place the springform pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Bake the cheesecake at 350F until the center barely jiggles when you shake the pan, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
4. Cool cake on a wire rack for 1 hour. Then cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it’s completely cold, at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove the sides of the springform pan. Leave the cake on the removable bottom of the pan and place it on a serving plate. If any cake is left over, cover it with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.