When we decided we were going to do a deep dive into cheesecake, there was no question that we'd go New York-style, known for its density and richness from cream cheese. Our version is pretty classic: A graham cracker crust holds a sweet filling of cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla bean and citrus. And to wow your guests, a swirl of raspberry purée creates a picture-perfect marbling on top. Trust us, this dessert will go fast (we've made two already, and they've both disappeared).
Note that you have to plan ahead when you want to make this dish: It's a long baking process, so patience is key. You have to give the eggs enough time to set the cream cheese filling, so that it's no longer jiggling when lightly shaken. This ties in with covering the cake with foil partway through. This step keeps the top golden and prevents any burning while the cake continues to cook.
Though the process itself takes only a few hours, the key is chilling the dessert overnight to let it firm up. The next day, let the cake return to room temperature before serving to allow the flavors of the cheesecake to shine.
To learn more, read "TT Culinary Institute: Cheesecake."
New York-Style Cheesecake with a Raspberry Swirl
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: One 9-inch cheesecake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours and 20 minutes, plus cooling and overnight chilling time
For the Crust:
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
For the Raspberry Swirl:
1½ cups (6 ounces) raspberries
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon cornstarch
For the Cheesecake:
32 ounces full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
1½ cups sugar
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon salt
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
4 room-temperature eggs
Boiling water, for baking
1. Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, mix together the crust ingredients until incorporated and press into a 9-inch springform pan. Spread the crumbs evenly along the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Bake until golden, 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
2. Meanwhile, make the raspberry swirl: In a medium saucepan, combine the swirl ingredients over medium heat. Cook until the raspberries have broken down and the mixture has thickened, 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender and purée until smooth, then strain.
3. Make the cheesecake: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, lemon zest, salt and vanilla seeds. Beat on medium speed until smooth. With the motor running, add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
4. Wrap the bottom of the springform pan with 2 large sheets of tinfoil and place in a roasting pan. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the crust. Spoon the raspberry purée over top and, using a knife, swirl it into the batter.
5. Pour boiling water into the roasting rack halfway up the pan and bake until set, 1 hour and 45 minutes. After 1 hour, cover the cake loosely in foil for the remainder of the cooking time. Remove from the water bath and let cool completely. Refrigerate overnight and serve the next day at room temperature.