The first time I went to New York City, I was 9 years old. I was taking dance lessons, and every year my teacher would bring a group of students to NYC to see some shows and take classes with her friends and colleagues there. When I was 9, I was invited to go for the first time. It was an unforgettable trip; we went to see A Chorus Line and the Rockettes, took classes with amazing New York dance teachers, and stayed in the Grand Hyatt Hotel. And what I really wanted to eat was a piece of real NY cheesecake. I have no idea how I even knew about it, but I wanted it. And all these years later, cheesecake is still one of my very favorite desserts, although now the one that I want is of the vegan variety.
And now, New York City is one of my very favorite places to go visit and eat – yes, I do plan trips based on the great vegan food I can get there 🙂 . Last year, when I heard that NYC Vegan was going to be published, I was beyond excited. As soon as I had a copy of it in my hands, I discovered that authors Michael Suchman & Ethan Ciment (The Vegan Mos) went way beyond anything I’d imagined. As native New Yorkers, they have created a cookbook full of amazing vegan versions of all of our favorite NY foods, and some you’ve probably never heard of – from latkes to knishes, bagels and blintzes, pizza and mofongo, every kind of food you could want is in in there. They also give fascinating stories about the dishes and their history and cultural background in New York.
And one lucky reader will get a copy of NYC Vegan for their own (US only this time). Just leave a comment and tell me your favorite city (and restaurant if you want!) to visit and enjoy the food. I’ll randomly choose a winner – just enter by Monday, May 29 (midnight PT) to win!
And now…. the recipe for my favorite (vegan) New York Cheesecake!
New York Cheesecake
Cheesecake is one of the most iconic New York City desserts. New York–style cheesecake is unique in that it relies on heavy cream and sour cream to make it thick and dense. Many New Yorkers who move away from the area often have relatives send them frozen cheesecakes so they can have a taste of home. Try it topped with some homemade blueberry sauce. (From NYC Vegan, copyright © 2017 by Michael Suchman and Ethan Ciment. Used by permission. Photo by Jackie Sobon.)
Serves 8 to 10
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 4 tablespoons nondairy butter, melted
- 4 (8-ounce) containers nondairy cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup nondairy sour cream
- 2 tablespoons Ener-G Egg Replacer
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs and butter in a large mixing bowl and mix well with a fork. Use your fingers to press the mixture firmly and evenly into the prepared springform pan until it is a solid, packed 1/4-inch layer of crust lining the bottom and slightly up the sides of the pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool before filling.
- Combine the cream cheese, flour, lemon juice, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix well, either with a handheld electric mixer or stand mixer, on medium speed until fully combined and the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. The batter should be completely smooth. Beat in the sour cream and egg replacer on low speed until well blended.
- Pour the batter into the partially baked crust and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 250°F and bake for 40 to 60 minutes, until the center is set but still a little jiggly. Turn off the heat and let the cheesecake rest for 30 minutes in the oven. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. When the cheesecake is cool, run a knife carefully around the side of the cheesecake, but do not remove or release the side of the pan. Put the cheesecake in the refrigerator, uncovered, for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight).
- When ready to serve, carefully run a knife along the side of the cheesecake to loosen it and remove the side of the pan. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.