For years, the recipe for Junior's Original Cheesecake was a treasured secret of the Rosen family, which first made these treats at their Brooklyn restaurant in the 1960s.
Now they're prime desserts at other Junior's locations including in Times Square and Grand Central Station.
Before you start making the cake or Rosen's other recipes, be sure to read the Junior's Way tips included with them.
JUNIOR'S ORIGINAL CHEESECAKE
One 8-inch Sponge-Cake Crust (see recipe below)
Three 8-oz. pkgs. Philadelphia cream cheese (use full fat), at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 Tbsps. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
2 eggs, extra large
2/3 cup heavy or whipping cream
Make and bake the sponge-cake crust as the recipe directs. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Leave the oven on at 350 degrees.
While the sponge-cake crust cools, make the cheesecake filling. Place one package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer (using the paddle attachment, if you have it) on low for about 3 minutes to make a stable starter batter. Blend in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, scraping down the bowl after adding each one. This will take about another 3 minutes.
Increase the mixer speed to medium (no faster!) and beat in the remaining sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. Beat in the cream just until completely blended. The filling will look light, creamy, airy, and almost like billowy clouds. Be careful not to overmix! Gently spoon the filling over the crust.
Place the pan in the center of a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the side of the springform. Bake until the edge of the filling is light golden brown and the top is light golden tan, about 1 1/4 hours.
Gently remove the cake from the water bath, transfer it to a wire rack, remove the foil covering the outside of the pan, and leave the cake on the rack (just walk away—don't move it) for at least 2 hours. The less you move it, the less likely it is your cake will crack. Once it has cooled, leave the cake in the pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. Release and remove the side of the springform pan, leaving the cake on the bottom of the pan. Place on a serving plate.
If you wish to remove the cake from the bottom of the pan, freeze the cake in the pan for about 30 minutes, enough to firm it up. Warm the bottom by placing it in on a hot wet towel or over a burner on very low heat for about 15 seconds—just long enough to melt the butter used to grease the pan but not long enough to make the pan hot. Release the spring and, using pot holders, remove the side of the pan. Now, insert a long metal spatula between the cake and the pan bottom, move it in a circle, and lift up on the cake oh-so-gently, just enough to release the vacuum. Slide the cake onto a serving plate, using the spatula and your hands. Serve. Cover any leftover cake and refrigerate for up to 3 days or wrap and freeze for up to 1 month.
Makes an 8-inch cheesecake, about 2 1/2 inches high.