Thursday, August 23, 2007


This recipe has been around a long time. Lindy's is the daddy of all cheesecakes. The restaurant went out of business in the 70's without ever having given out the recipe for their world famous cheesecake. Gourmet Magazine published what they called the authentic recipe in a 1951 publication and it made the rounds like all good recipes. I have it in several old cookbooks and it's all over the internet. I don't know why I never made it. Always wanted to. The thought of making a real cookie crust rolled onto the springform pan intimidated me, as did working with the insane temperatures. Well call this my last fling or whatever, but I finally bit the bullet. Problems started early with the cookie crust. I guess I rolled it too thin and turned my back on the oven. I set the timer for 10 minutes, but the cookie must have gotten done at 5 minutes, because when I smelled it burning it was too late! I quickly made another batch of cookie dough and this time rolled it thicker. The dough is very short, so hard to roll and work with. Rather than overload it with flour and get a tough cookie, I worked with it in pieces. No problem it went on the pan fine. Next the temperatures. I used the cheap Wilton 9-inch springform pan that comes in a set of 3 from Wal-Mart for about $10.00. It's nonstick and dark. So I lowered the temperatures by 25 degrees to compensate for dark pan. I also put the pan on a bright aluminum cookie sheet because I didn't know if it would spill over. The 9" pan filled right up to the edge of the cookie dough. Be sure you go up a generous 3/4 when you put the cookie dough on the sides, or you'll be short. Since the batter went up so high, I expected it to rise like other cheesecakes, but I was pleasantly surprised. It stayed right there the whole time. I also put a pan of hot water beneath the cheesecake. The cheesecake batter itself I made in my Cuisinart food processor (14-cup) -- I also did the cookie dough in the Cuisinart and just wiped it out before doing the cheesecake batter. (I think the Cuisinart makes a better cheesecake batter, but I could be wrong. I would have to do the same recipe two different ways to be sure.) The timing and temperatures on this recipe are genuinely scary. I set the oven at 525 for 10 minutes, then without opening the oven door, set the oven down to 225 and set the timer on one hour. At the end of an hour, I opened the door and jiggled the pan. It was very wiggly and I knew it was not done. Since I had opened the door briefly, I turned the oven back on and it registered 281 degrees. I turned it back off and let the cheesecake sit for another half hour. I checked it again and it didn't wiggle, so I took it out and let it cool. Then I was worried I overbaked it. I cooled it completely on the counter, then put it in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap overnight. (It's best not to serve it the day you make it.) When I sliced into it the next day, it was absolutely perfect! The flavorings in this recipe are excellent and the texture is divine -- like eating solidified cream. The cookie crust is tender and not at all overpowering. Served with fresh fruit and a mint sprig it's an elegant dessert to grace any table. What I especially like about this recipe is that the batter does not crack, does not puff up and does not change. Please try it. It's not hard, you just have to take care. I will definitely make it again and again. Now for the final note: my neighbor called me yesterday to ask if she could buy a dessert from me for a party she is having Saturday. Voila! I had just put 3/4 of the cheesecake in the freezer and she only needs a half. She was delighted as was I because I am wanting to sell some of my desserts now. I have been giving them away like crazy and selling them will help to validate me, which is what this is all about. Anyway, you will get 12-16 servings from this cheesecake, depending on your appetite. I think 16 if you serve it with fruit. It's very rich. Here's the recipe with my changes:


Ingredients: CRUST 1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk, room temp
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 tsp. lemon zest (I used a microplane grater)

FILLING 24 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
16 oz. Philadelphia Neufchatel cheese, softened (recipe calls for 40 oz.
of cream cheese)
1-3/4 cups sugar
1-1/2 tsp. ea. lemon zest and orange zest
5 eggs plus 2 egg yolks, room temp
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (recipe calls for 1/2 tsp.)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice (recipe does not call for lemon juice)
1/4 cup heavy cream, room temp
3 Tbsp. flour

DIRECTIONS Place all dough ingredients in food processor and pulse several times till dough starts to leave sides of processor. If dough is too dry and doesn't come together, just add a teaspoon or more of lemon juice and pulse again. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in fridge at lease one hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove ring from 9" springform pan. Roll almost a half of the dough on lightly floured wax paper to about 1/8 thickness and place on bottom of pan. (Alternately, you can just press the dough onto the pan, conforming to fit.) Trim edges to fit and bake in preheated oven 8-12 minutes, checking at 8 minutes. Remove when dough is a light golden brown. Cool. Place the springform sides over the baked base. Roll the remaining dough about 1/8 inch thick and cut to fit sides of pan. It will be easier if you butter the sides first. This will give the dough something to cling to. Be sure you seal the base. Just lightly press the new dough to overlap slightly on the base. When you are all done, take a plastic knife and trim the dough so that it comes a generous 3/4 of the way up the sides of the pan.

Turn the oven to 550 degrees (or 525 if you are using dark or coated pan). Be sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. Don't rush this process. Place 1 block of cheese and 1/3 cup of sugar in the food processor and blend smooth for about 10 seconds. Continue with additional blocks of cheese and sugar till all are processed. Add the lemon and orange zests and the 2 egg yolks and process again till smooth. Add the remaining 5 eggs, one at a time, processing till smooth after each addition. Add heavy cream and vanilla, processing till smooth. Lastly, add flour and just pulse briefly till combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes, then, without opening oven door, reduce temperature to 250 (or 225 for dark or coated pans) and continue to bake for one more hour. Check the cake for doneness by jiggling pan. If it wiggles, close the oven door and leave in oven for 15-30 minutes longer. When cake no longer wiggles, it is done. Remove to cake rack to cool. Cool completely before covering and placing in fridge overnight. May be frozen for up to 6 months.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much. I'm surprised nobody else has left a comment, because this is a wonderful cheesecake, and not that hard to make. I did modify it a bit. I made a pumpkin spice cheesecake. I substituted one of the cream cheeses with a 15 oz. can of pumpkin pie filling. I also added some nutmeg and cinnamon. The final change was the crust; I made a ginger snap and pecan crust, nothing on the sides. It worked perfectly.

Judy said...

Anonymous: Thanks so much for your comments. Your pumpkin spice cheesecake sounds great and I might make it for Thanksgiving! Judy

sandra said...

Thank you so much for this recipe, Judy! I have been searching in vain forever for that cheesecake recipe I remember from childhood! I love NY style cheesecake but wasn't aware until recently that all NY style cheesecakes are NOT alike! Every recipe I tried sounded right but each one disappointed; too creamy, (sounds odd, I know!) too gummy; not that thick, dense, stick to the roof of your mouth cheesecake that needs to be washed down with hot coffee or milk that I crave!

Just today, searching yet again for that missing ingredient/technique, I came across a recipe for Junior's cheesecake. It explained that unlike other NY style recipes, Junior's AND Lindy's versions contain flour or cornstarch! A bit more Googling brought me here and I just know this one will be the charm, right down to the cookie crust! As a matter of fact, the first time I tasted cheesecake was at Lindy's, as a child! I should have started my hunt there!
Thanks again!

Judy said...

Sandra - I'm so glad you found this recipe -- it won't disappoint you. In my opinion, Lindy's was and is the best cheesecake recipe ever! The cookie crust is what sets it apart from all others. Judy

Anna said...

Hola Judy!

The Lindy's recipe is very similar to the cheesecake I made today. I will be posting the results tomorrow morning, but so far, I can tell you it's very good. It's extremely creamy.

Anonymous said...

Judy, I'm the same anonymous that posted in 2007 with the pumpkin addition. I've returned to use your recipe again. I just wanted to tell you that my father was an internationally award winning chef, and he taught me at least a thing or two. In my life, I've used others recipes, but HONESTLY, this is the ONLY website I have reviseted. At really, I've been here alot. I love making this cheese cake. Thanks so much.

Judy said...

Anonymous, Thanks so much for your kind words. You are very fortunate to have learned from your father. My parents were not great cooks.

Anonymous said...

I've been baking this cheesecake for about 15 years. Everyone thinks I'm the cheesecake queen! I actually don't roll the dough...I just press it into the springform pan. I also don't go as high with the temperature as 500degrees....I go to 425 for 15 minutes...then down to 200 for one hour...then I turn the oven off and let it sit for another 20 minutes or so before I cool it on a rack. I just bought some "mini" springform pans. I want to use this same recipe but am nervous about the time and temperature. Any suggestions anyone? Great website.

Judy said...

Anonymous, It will be trial and error with the minis. With other cheesecakes, it's easy to see when the cake is done because the sides puff up. This cheesecake doesn't puff up, so it's going to be harder. I've made mini-cheesecakes but not with this recipe.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the great cheesecake recipe. My mom loves cheesecake. I order her one from Junior's for her birthday every year. She says that this one is just as good. The best part about the recipe is your directions. I used your directions to make a pumpkin cheesecake as well and it turned out beautifully. The food processor really seems to prevent overbeating.

Shirl said...

Thanks for the help. I was in Lindy's in NYC last week, about 6 blocks from the Park almost across from Carnagie it is still there! And the cheesecake is awesome...I'm from Chicago and we make it differently :-)

Anonymous said...

I was just in Lindy's last week and the cheesecake is awesome. Its almost across from Carnagie Deli a few blocks from the Park.

Judy said...

Shirl, you were not in the original Lindy's because it closed. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia:

"Lindy's was opened by Leo "Lindy" Lindermann (died 1957, Parkinson's disease) and his wife Clara on August 20, 1921, and was located at 1626 Broadway, between 49th and 50th Streets.[1][2] A second location was opened at 1655 Broadway in 1929.[2] The original Lindy's location closed in 1957.

In 1969, the 1655 Broadway location was acquired by Longchamps restaurants, who closed the restaurant in September 1969 to convert it into a steak house (it became a Steak & Brew and later a Beefsteak Charlie's).

Lindy's was especially well-known for its cheesecake, which was at times credited as perhaps the most famous in the United States. The cheesecake was immortalized in Guys and Dolls, where Nathan Detroit and Sky Masterson sang its praises.

The "Lindy's" name and concept was resurrected in 1979 by New York City restaurant operator the Riese Organization, who determined that the name had fallen into the public domain, and later obtained the trademark."

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe. I had an old one I got from the Epicurean Magazine (I think) many years ago, maybe 25+. It too, had the shortbread or cookie crust with lemon zest. I do not care for Graham cracker crusts, too sweet and detracts from the pie or cake. I had the magazine for years, but never put the recipe in my book, I now keep them on my computer. My wife threw out all of my old magazines, sad! It was the best cheesecake I've ever eaten. I'll try this one and see. Thanks, Joe

Judy said...

Joe, So sorry that you lost your recipe. It happens to all of us recipe hoarders. My hubby has threatened to throw out my voluminous piles of magazines and recipes that are stacked everywhere in our house.

Arie Couchman said...

Hi I have a memory of my mother making a cheesecake that was great - not the sweet kind nowadays but I've never found a recipe . She died before I got to age of being interested in cooking. She would make a pastry base - no biscuits in sight & the filing was the cream on top of the milk ( delivered in bottles here in Australia in the 60's ) . she would put the cream from the top of the milk in a calico cloth and hang out the back doors on a fence in the sun. The filling would be sour & the cheesecake baked.

She used a lot of old cook books many British - Beatons etc .

Anyone know of such a recipe ??


Judy said...

Hi, Arie, Thanks for your comments. I have never heard of a sun-baked cheesecake, especially one without flavorings. Good luck in finding this recipe.