Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Carnegie Deli Cheesecake

Helloooo Lover - a cheesecake is so a woman's best friend. There is a reason that the Golden Girls basically created entire story lines around this amazing dessert.

So, I must tell how I came across this fabulous concoction. A number of years ago, I was in New York City with my then husband and we went to the Carnegie Deli since we were staying in Times Square. Now, I had plenty of corned beef sandwiches growing up and I had visited New York several times since my Dad is from Long Island. However, I had never had a meal like this. To this day, it stands out as some of the best food I have ever had in my life and it will forever remain that way in my mind. We had the Matzoh Ball soup, followed by "the Woody Allen" which contained more corned beef and pastrami than you can possibly imagine and which we had to split. We topped those two amazing starters with their famous cheesecake that had strawberries with a glaze on top. I walked away full, happy, satisfied and in an utter state of food euphoria.

Ever since that trip, I have been trying to find my way back to Times Square to have another round of that fabulous meal but somehow life has taken up all of my time and I have not been able to make it back. So, when a girl can't make it to a party, she just has to make her own. I printed off the cheesecake recipe from the Carnegie Deli website and modified it a little bit. They were a little vague with some of their directions but I was able to piece it together based on other cheesecake recipes I have made.

I also succeeded in not cracking this cheesecake which was a first for me. The secret is in the bake time. This tip did come from the website; they said the cake is like a custard, bake too long and it cracks, too little and it will be too loose on the inside. So I watched the cake like a hawk and when it seemed like it was about to crack, I dove for the oven door and took it out. After it sat at room temperature for a few hours, it was perfect, no cracks.

Recipe adapted from the Carnegie Deli website.


Cookie Crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4 inch bits

Cheese Filling
1 1/4 pounds softened cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Raspberry Topping (Optional)
2 pints fresh raspberries
1 cup raspberry jelly

1.) Place the flour, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla extract, egg yolk, and butter in a large mixing bowl. With your fingertips, rub the ingredients together until they are well mixed and can be gathered into a ball. Dust with a little flour, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.) Butter and flour the bottom of a 9x9 inch spring-form pan, roll out a piece of dough to cover the bottom. Press the dough into the pan with your fingertips and until the bottom of the pan is covered along with a little bit of the sides. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until it is a very light brown color. Cool the pan and the bottom and press the remaining dough onto the sides of the pan until the dough is half way up on the rim. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 490 degrees.

Place the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl with a paddle attachment and beat on high speed for about 5 minutes or until creamy and smooth. With the mixer on low speed, add the sugar scraping down the sides periodically. Then add in the heavy cream and eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Add in the vanilla and lemon and beat for about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour with a rubber spatula. Make sure there are no lumps.

Pour the filling into the cookie dough lined pan and bake in the center of the oven until a dark brown color appears, about 10 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and cool for 30 minutes and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. After 30 minutes, return the cake to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes but please keep an eye on it. If there are any signs of cracking, take the cake out immediately, it is done.

Cool the cheesecake for at least two hours. When it has cooled, wrap it and refrigerate it overnight.

Raspberry Sauce
Melt the jelly over medium heat in a saucepan until completely melted. Cool slightly and carefully add in the raspberries and mix being careful not to break up the berries. Cool completely before pouring over the cheesecake.

1 comment:

  1. This is an absolutely beautiful cake!!! Great job. There is nothing better on the holidays then a incredible dessert after a fab. dinner!!!