New York Cheesecake Recipe + Video


Makes One 9-in /23cm Cake
Serves 12 to 16

The cake stands tall with a seasonal berry topping; and because of the steam bake functionality of the oven, the graham sides are beautifully bronzed and the bottom is perfectly tender-crusted without being dried out and burnt.

A traditional cheesecake requires a water bath to cook; but baths are a messy business. With the steam bake function of the Samsung Double Wall Oven, the dangerous and tedious business of a water bath is unnecessary. You can simply put the uncooked cheesecake into a hot oven until it puffs up, and then lower the temperature almost all the way. It works every time and results in the silkiest, smoothest cheesecake that no traditional oven could ever re-create. The results speak for themselves.

Ingredients:

Topping:
½ cup / 170g Simple Berry Jam (recipe follows)
1 lb / 455 g fresh seasonal berries

Crust:
1½ cups / 170 g graham cracker crumbs
6 tbsp Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup / 50 g granulated sugar
½ tsp teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of fine-grain sea salt

Filling:
2 lb / 910 g cream cheese, at room temperature
1½ cups / 300 g granulated sugar
2 tbsp Tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ tsp teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
½ tsp teaspoon finely grated orange zest
3 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 tsp teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¾ cup / 180 ml sour cream, at room temperature

Preparation:

To make the topping: Prepare the Simple Berry Jam (recipe follows).

To Make the Crust: Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450ºF/ 230ºC. Grease a 9-inch/23-cm springform pan.

In a medium bowl, mix together the cracker crumbs, butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan, using your hands or the flat bottom of a small measuring cup to compress the crust. Put the pan in the freezer.

To Make the Filling & Topping: In a large bowl using a handheld mixer (I find this works best for the job, rather than a stand mixer), beat the cream cheese, sugar, flour, lemon zest, and orange zest on medium speed for 3–5 minutes, stopping the mixer and scraping down the sides of the bowl and the beaters to make sure there’s no lumpy cream cheese in sight. With the mixture on its lowest speed, add the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla all at once, mixing until smooth and the eggs are well incorporated. Mix in the sour cream until just incorporated.

Remove the Crust from the freezer, put on a rimmed baking sheet, and wrap the sides of the pan with aluminum foil—if using the Samsung Double Wall Ovenwith the steam bake function, this little bit would be unnecessary. Pour the filling into the prepared pan and put the pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 17–20 minutes, until the top is puffed.

Lower the oven temperature to 225ºF/110ºC and bake until the cake is mostly firm but still slightly wobbly in the center, 45 minutes to 1 hour more. (If the cheesecake is not done after 45 minutes, check it every 5 minutes or so until it is—it seems like a daunting task, but cheesecake-making requires a bit of saintly patience.)

Once the cheesecake is done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature in the pan. Cover and refrigerate it for 8 hours before topping.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the jam with 1 teaspoon water until it is pourable. Let it cool to room temperature and pour over the cheesecake. Return the cheesecake to the refrigerator until the jam topping is set before serving and topping with the fresh berries. The cheesecake will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days; be sure to top the cheesecake with the fresh berries no longer than a day in advance of serving.

Note: You might not think there are enough graham cracker crumbs for the pan, but trust me, there are. Just work it into the pan using the flat bottom of a small measuring cup.


Simple Strawberry Jam
Makes about 1 cup
Add the juice of one medium lemon or the juice of half an orange to the strawberry mixture before cooking the jam to add a nice bright, citrusy flavor.

Ingredients:
1 lb / 455 g fresh strawberries
1 cup / 200 g granulated sugar
1 tbsp Tablespoon cold salted butter, cut into small cubes

Preparation:
Put a couple of small plates in the freezer. Wash, hull, and halve the strawberries.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the strawberries and sugar, boil for 20–25 minutes, until thickened. To check if the jam is set, remove one chilled plate from the freezer and spoon a small dab of the mixture onto it. Give the jam about 30 seconds, and push it with your finger. If it wrinkles, it’s set and done; if it moves about on the plate, it needs to be boiled a bit longer before you test it on the other plate. You’ll also know the jam is done when it reaches 210º F/ 100ºC on a candy thermometer.

When the jam is set and done, remove it from the heat and stir in the butter. Skim off any foam from the surface with a metal spoon, then pour the jam into clean, heat-safe containers or jars. The jam will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Variations:
For Raspberry Jam: Decrease the amount of raspberries to 2 cups / 250 g, and add in 1 tablespoon of strained fresh orange juice and 1 tablespoon of finely grated orange zest to the berries when stirring them with the sugar. Do the same for Blackberry Jam, but simply increase the amount of sugar to 1½ cups / 300g.