Epic New York Cheesecake

When you buy the three-pound package of Philly cream cheese from Costco, you’d better have some recipes in mind. And you’d better have a lot of hungry mouths around too. These things were on my mind this month, as I made three cheesecakes in the span of two weeks. This one, though, was unlike any one I’ve ever made before (and I’ve made quite a few).

The recipe is by Stella Parks, and comes from her first cookbook. There are so many interesting ingredients and techniques:

  • The crust uses low proportion of butter to crumbs (and no sugar either), so the base doesn’t get oily, or caramelized
  • Goat cheese makes up 20% of the overall cheese ingredients, which provides a tangy, crumbly texture
  • Orange flower water, lemon juice, and vanilla are all used to flavour the filling
  • Eggs are beaten in all at once, streamlining the mixing process
  • No water bath is needed
  • The oven temperature starts out very high to provide lift, then the cake is finished at very low heat
  • She calls for a non-standard 8”x4” pan, but I substituted a 9”x3” false bottom one

Epic New York Cheesecake

A quick note about my pan substitution: at the minimum baking time, 35 minutes, the cheesecake’s internal temperature was already 160℉, so next time, I’d check it 5 minutes earlier.

Anyway, I could go on and on (and I did, to whoever would listen) about how great this cheesecake is. It has a surprisingly light texture, isn’t too sweet, with a subtle flavouring, thanks to those secret ingredients. Only one person noticed the goat cheese flavour, and no one identified orange flower water.

Unfortunately, I only got one quick photo of the cake, as we were so eager to slice into it at work. The only improvement, which was just an omission I made in the interest of time, would be to make a fresh fruit topping.

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