Monday, September 28, 2020 -
Print Edition

Ode to a cheesecake

Ah, the quest for the perfect cheesecake. The basic ingredients are obvious: cream cheese and sugar. But then comes the art of preparation, and the plaguing question of how to avoid unseemly cracks on the cake’s lightly browned surface. And, of course, full fat or low fat? Sour cream topping or fruit? Or in its most pure form – a pale yellow slice, free of adornments, just slightly glistening, accompanied only by a cup of strong coffee?

It’s a dessert that – according to its fundaments — should be simple, but has managed to spawn so many variants that Junior’s, Brooklyn’s cheesecake mecca, recently published a book with 50 recipes for the decadent classic.

Below we include a variant on one of their recipes. Beware! We’ve gone for the full fat version — but it’s crustless, so at least no pesky carbs! Think your recipe competes? Try ours and then post a comment.

Junior's Classic Cheesecake


  • 4 8 oz packages regular cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1/4 C cornstarch
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 t lemon zest
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 1/2 C sour cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and generously butter a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. Place one 8 oz. 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 speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Then beat in the remaining 3 packages of cream cheese.
  3. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat in the remaining sugar, then add the vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating the batter well after adding each one. Blend in the sour cream. Mix the filling so that it is completely blended – but be careful not to over mix.
  4. Spoon the batter into the buttered springform pan. 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 for 60-70 minutes, until the center is only slightly wobbly.
  5. Cool the cake on a wire rack for at least 2 hours. Refrigerate until chilled, preferably overnight.

3 thoughts on “Ode to a cheesecake

Leave a Reply