Maggiano's New York Style Cheesecake

Servings: 0 servings

"Keith Brunell, executive chef/partner, was happy to share a few ingredient clues. This is one of the lightest, tallest, creamiest, most divine cheesecakes around - and it's loaded with cream cheese, ricotta cheese and sour cream. The trick for success is to purchase the least-grainy ricotta cheese (Polly-O, available at Monte Carlo in Burbank and other Italian delis, works well) and beat the mixture well. Also, bake as the restaurant does, in a water bath, in a 250-degree oven for several hours. After a few tests, we came up with a version that comes close to the restaurant's. Served with fresh strawberries, strawberry sauce and whipped cream, it's wonderful."



TO MAKE THE CRUST: In a food processor, combine broken up ladyfingers with butter and process until mixture is in fine crumbs. Press onto bottom only of a 9-inch springform pan (3 inches high). Wrap a double thickness of foil around bottom and all the way up sides of outside of pan. TO MAKE THE FILLING: In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, ricotta cheese, sour cream, vanilla and lemon juice about 6 to 7 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in sugar and continue beating 3 to 4 minutes, until very smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour mixture into crust-lined pan. TO BAKE: Put springform pan into a larger baking pan and carefully add hot water to come 1/3 way up side of springform pan (best to do this on oven rack). Bake in preheated 250-degree F oven 4 to 4 1/2 hours or until set and knife inserted near center comes out clean. (Top should be pale golden, if at all). Remove springform pan from larger baking pan and cool to room temperature. While cake is still warm, run tip of a sharp knife gently around sides to loosen cake from pan. Refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours or longer. TO SERVE: Carefully remove springform side of pan. Cut cheesecake into slices with a sharp knife dipped into hot water and wiped dry. Serve cold with whipped cream and fresh strawberries and strawberry sauce, if desired. Makes 1 (9-inch) cheesecake