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myMEGusta

Named for things that please me (“me gusta” in Spanish) and rhymes with balabusta (Yiddish for “good homemaker”).

Sorry, Grandma!

Someone finally replicated my friend’s grandmother’s ricotta cheesecake, a feat never thought possible.

Ricotta Cheesecake

Ricotta Cheesecake

The scene was at Capeesh!, a Stamford, CT,  Italian eatery, and the dessert had arrived with a perky birthday candle and four spoons. Not normally a favorite of MyMEGusta, this ricotta cheesecake was fresh, light, and moist, unlike any other she has ever tasted.

Cheesecakes come in many styles, the best known being the Italian style (ricotta), New York style (baked and made with cream cheese, yielding a smoother texture ) and refrigerator style (also made with cream cheese, heavily promoted by that brand which comes in foil, and not cooked at all, firming up once refrigerated).

Icebox Cheesecake

Icebox Cheesecake

Speaking of Kraft, their website offers a recipe for a cheesecake made of their cheese, a tub of Cool Whip, and sugar.  If any readers try this, let MyMEGusta know.

Cheesecake is believed to have originated in the Mediterranean, and there are versions all around the world.

Junior's Cheesecake

Junior’s Cheesecake

Although every bakery (and cook) in New York has their own style, it is generally acknowledged that Junior’s is the best: flavorful  and firm but with a creamy texture. They won a contest many years ago, although that was before they expanded to being a chain. Still, as of the last sampling at the Grand Central Terminal location, the quality was still spot on.

New Yorkers: Please feel free to disagree in the Comments section. This could be a fun debate, also known as a means of generating good leads for MyMEGusta to check out!

Berries!

Berries!

A good cheesecake needs no adornment, but fruit sauce (alas, often just canned pie filling) sometimes accompanies it. When the garnish is really top notch, like whipped cream and fresh berries, it’s a joy to behold.

Cheesecake Ice Cream with Strawberries

Cheesecake Ice Cream with Strawberries

One situation in which an add-on, e.g. strawberries, really does make a nice contribution is cheesecake ice cream, with the tangy taste of cheesecake with an accent of fruit in every bite.

The fall is myMEGusta’s favorite time of the year for cheesecake because that’s the season for pumpkins, and pumpkin cheesecake. She makes it using a classic recipe, substituting pumpkin puree for some of the liquid, and adding a soupcon of pumpkin pie spices, just enough to give a little flavor, not overwhelm the palate.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Maybe pumpkin cheesecake ice cream would be even more heavenly!

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4 thoughts on “Sorry, Grandma!

  1. As a cheesecake aficianado from way back (anybody remember the Palm 30 years ago?) I can vouch that the best cheesecake in the world is now available at Dominick’s bakery in Yonkers, just across the Hastings line. This is a real neighborhood bakery and Dominick himself often presides. Try the biscotti while you’re there and the sfogliatelle (pronounced svoyadella.) http://www.yelp.com/biz/domenicks-nepperhan-italian-pastry-shop-yonkers

    GH

  2. Micheline on said:

    Agree with MeGusta, Junior’s “takes the cake” on cheesecakes…plain or with fruit topping, etc,

  3. Anne Tornillo on said:

    My favorite comes from Cooking Light – no really, I am serious! It is a lemon cheesecake with a smooth and light texture highlighted by a swirled in lemon curd. A bit labor intensive, but definitely worth the few extra minutes!

  4. As executive chef for many years I was blessed working with wonderful pastry chefs. Joseph Tarantino made a rich, New York style cheesecake and lined the bottom and sides with cookie dough. Willy Ritz at The Waldorf – Astoria lined the sides with cake crumbs and baked the cheese cake in a water bath. Mu friend Pietro Mosconi, chef/owner of Villa Monte on MacDougal street make the most delicious ricotta cheesecake.

    Dipping into recent history, the legendary pastry chef Albert Kumen when working at the Windows on the World created a strawberry topped cheesecake and showed it to the legendary restaurateur Jos
    eph Baum. ” Don’t f…. with a good product was the answer.” The cheesecake at the restaurant stayed plain.

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