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Monday, February 2, 2015


Posted by Bryna Bear aka Gluten Free Baking Bear

     I used to love Lindy’s cheesecake.  Lindy’s is a New York City deli famous for their NY style cheesecake.  NY cheesecakes are typically dense and various landmark eateries have become famous for their take on this dessert.  Lindy’s cheesecake differs from the others in the type of crust and the flavoring.  Most cheesecakes have a graham cracker crust.  Lindy’s has a soft cookie crust made from homemade dough.  The filling is very creamy and has orange zest as well as the usual lemon zest used in most recipes.  
     I knew that if I wanted some Lindy’s cheesecake I would have to make it myself, no GF version available at the deli.  
     Cheesecake is not hard to make, it is tricky to get it to just the type of consistency that you like and to keep it from cracking on top.  No matter if you undercook, slightly overcook or get cracks on top, the cheesecake will still taste great and be eaten up appreciatively.
     I followed the recipe as written, making the necessary GF replacements and using the indicated baking time.  I think that I would have liked the texture better if I had baked it a bit longer.  You can tell if the cheesecake is done if you move it and the center 2-3 inches wobble or jiggle.  I shook mine while on the oven rack, it did not jiggle and I worried that I overcooked it.  So I turned the oven off and allowed the cake to cook down in the oven for about 40 minutes with the door ajar.  When I took it out of the oven,  after 40 minutes, I realized that the center 6 inches of the cake was jiggling.  Too late to do anything at that point.  The texture was very creamy and light, not the denseness I was hoping for.  No one complained and only raved about the taste and texture as they gobble it up, so no problems.  Next time I will check for wobbliness by taking the hot cake out of the oven and gently moving it while holding it in my hands, not shaking it on the oven rack.  
     To keep the cake from forming cracks be aware of a few things.  Don’t overcook the cake.  A dry cake will form a large crack. Don’t open the oven door if you can help it, or slam it shut while baking.  Grease the sides of the pan well to help the cake pull away from the sides of the pan when it cools. This will keep the center of the cake from pulling apart while cooling.  Bake the cake in a water bath (Bain-Marie) to allow the cake to cook more evenly and slowly. Cool down the cake gradually.  I like to turn off the oven and allow the cake to cool down with the door ajar for 40 minutes and then move the cake to a rack to cool completely before covering it and chilling it in the fridge.  
     For a creamy texture, before you add the eggs, beat the cream cheese filling until very smooth and no lumps remain.  Then mix in the eggs one at a time. 
     Don’t worry about surface cracks, just cover them up by spreading a layer of sour cream over the top of the cake.  You can also make a fruit sauce for the top to cover them up.  Be aware that purists prefer plain cake and any sauce should be served on the side.
     Because oven temperatures vary it can be difficult to figure out the correct baking time.  If the top of the cake is getting too brown, lay a piece of foil gently over the top and carefully close the oven door.  If your oven tends to cook things faster than the recipe indicates then check the cheesecake sooner than the total cooking time and if done then turn off the oven and start the cool down with the oven door ajar.  If your oven tends to take longer than recipes indicate then check for doneness at the indicated baking time and, if necessary, continue to bake until done.
           Makes one 9-inch cheesecake
1/2 cup Sorghum Flour
1/4 cup Tapioca Flour
1/4 cup Chickpea Flour
1/2 tsp. Xanthan Gum
1/4 cup Sugar
1 tsp. Lemon Zest
1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
1 large Egg Yolk
8 Tbs./1 stick/1/2 cup Unsalted Butter at room temperature

2 1/2 lbs./40 oz./five 8 oz. packages Cream Cheese (full fat) at room temperature
1 1/4 cup Sugar
3 Tbs. Corn Starch (or other starch flour such as arrowroot or tapioca) 
1 1/2 tsp. Orange Zest
1 1/2 tsp. Lemon Zest
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
5 large Eggs
2 large Egg Yolks
1/4 cup Heavy Cream

First make the crust:
  1. Combine the flours, xanthan gum, salt, sugar and lemon zest and mix well.
  2. Add the egg yolk and butter and mix together with your fingers until a dough is formed.
    Adding butter and yolk to flour mixture.

    Mixing the dough with my fingers.

    Dough all mixed.
  3. Divide the dough into two parts, form two disks and wrap each disk in plastic wrap.  Chill the dough disks for 1 hour.
    Two disks of dough wrapped and ready to chill.
  4. Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by lining the bottom with a cardboard round and topping the round with a circle of parchment paper.  This will allow you to remove the cheesecake from the pan and move it (in one piece) to a serving dish.
    Lining the springform pan with a cardboard round
    and putting a parchment circle on top.  
    The parchment will keep the crust from sticking.
    The cardboard will allow you to move the cake to a plate more easily.
  5. Grease the parchment paper with butter.
  6. After the dough has chilled preheat the oven to 400℉.
  7. Take one disk out of the fridge and roll it out into a circle between two pieces of plastic wrap.  The dough should be about 1/8 inch thick.  Remove the top layer of plastic and press the pan onto the dough to create a circle indent.  Remove the dough from the outside of the dough circle.
    Dough circle on plastic.
  8. Invert the dough circle, still with the plastic on the bottom, on to the parchment round on the bottom of the springform pan.  Gently press out any bubbles.  Remove the plastic wrap.
  9. Bake for about 8-10 minutes until the dough is lightly browned.  Set on a rack to cool or speed up the process by putting the pan in the fridge.
    Raw dough on bottom of pan.

    Baked bottom crust.
  10. Increase the oven temperature to 500℉.
  11. When completely cooled, grease the sides of the pan well with butter. Line the sides of the pan with the remaining dough.  I found it easiest to roll out the dough and cut it into strips.  I then pieced, patched and pressed the strips around the sides of the pan.  Make sure to seal the raw dough around the edges of the cooked bottom round of dough.  It does not have to look perfect, no one will ever see it, just be sure to cover the sides completely.
    Rolled dough ready to be pressed along the side of the pan.

    Side dough pieced and pressed around the pan.
    Note the raw dough is pressed to the cooked bottom.
  12. Set in the fridge to chill while you make the filling.
  13. Prepare the water bath.  You will need a baking pan that will hold the cake and allow enough boiling water go 2-3 inches up the outside of the cake pan.
  14. Boil enough water to fill the pan water bath pan 2-3 inches.

Next make the filling:
  1. Use 2 layers of heavy duty aluminum foil to cover the bottom and sides of the springform pan.  This will prevent the water from seeping into the bottom of the cake.
    Foil wrapped pan.
  2. Place the baking pan that will hold the water on the stove top.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the cream cheese, sugar, corn starch, zests and vanilla until very smooth and no lumps of cream cheese remain.
  4. Add the eggs and yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Stir in the cream until smooth.
    Silky smooth batter.
  6. Place the empty springform pan into the pan that will hold the water.  
  7. Pour the filling into the springform  pan.  The filling will mound slightly over the top of the pan.
    Pan with filling doming a bit over the top.
    It will not overflow and does sink a bit after baking and cooling.
  8. Carefully pour the boiling water into the larger empty pan, taking care not to get water on to the cake.  
  9. Place the cake in the water bath pan into the oven.  Bake for 10 minutes or until the top begins to brown.
  10. Reduce the oven temperature to 250℉ and bake another hour. 
  11. If the top is getting too brown during baking, gently lay a piece of foil on the cake, and carefully close the oven door.
  12. If your oven tends to cook things faster than recipes call for, then check the cake 10 minutes before the end of the recommended cooking time.
  13. If your oven tends to take longer to bake things than recipes indicate then check the cake for doneness at the recommended time.
  14. Check for doneness by taking it out of the oven and gently moving the cake.  The center 2-3 inches of the cake should jiggle when done.  If a larger area is jiggling return the cake to oven to continue baking and check again in 5-10 minutes.
  15. When done, turn the oven off, leave the oven door ajar, and let the cake cool down for 40 minutes in the oven.  Slowly cooling down the cake will prevent cracking.
  16. After cooling in the oven for 40 minutes, remove the cake to a wire rack to cool completely at room temperature.
    Cake in the pan after chilling overnight.
  17. Cover and chill for 6-8 hours or overnight.
  18. When ready to serve, run a knife around the edge of the cooled cake.  Then carefully remove the side ring from the pan.
    After the side ring is removed.
    I should have run the knife after chilling.
    I did it right out of the oven and it broke a bit.
  19. Use a knife to lift the edge of the cardboard bottom from the pan.  Slip your hand under the cardboard and move the cake to a serving dish.
    Using a knife to lift the cardboard enough to slip your hand underneath.
  20. For clean looking slices, wipe the knife blade before each cut.
    Slicing the cake.
  21. Refrigerate leftovers.  For longer storage you can freeze well wrapped slices or the entire cake.  Thaw in the fridge before serving.
    A view of the bottom crust.

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