The Greyston Bakery opened its doors in 1982 in Riverdale, an affluent section of the Bronx just north of Manhattan. Bernie Glassman, a Brooklyn-born applied mathematician and Zen Buddhism teacher, lived with his students in a nearby house. This house, called the Greyston Mansion, sat on the Hudson River and had been originally built as a summer home for the Dodge family. With Glassman as its leader, the Zen Community of New York (ZCNY) opened the bakery, then just a small cafe, as a way to employ students and provide a place for them to practice mindfulness, hard work, and service, three of the basic tents of Zen Buddhism.
-The Greyston Bakery Cookbook by Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan
Hope that introduction was enough to whet your palate! Now for a little something to satisfy that appetite…our recipe for a classic New York Cheesecake.
The Greyston Bakery is known for its incredible cheesecake. This version has a graham cracker crumb crust anad both lemon peel and lemon juice, which is known as New York style. Here, we offer both a plain version and one decadently glazed in chocolate ganache.
FOR THE CRUST
2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about eighteen 2 1/2″ x 5″ crackers)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE FILLING
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
PREPARE THE CRUST
Position a rack in the center of the over and preheat the oven to 350° F.
In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the mixture on tot he bottom oand two-thirds of the way up the sides of a 9″ round springform pan. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until the crust begins to deepen in color. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool. Reduce the over temperature to 325° F.
PREPARE THE FILLING AND ASSEMBLE THE CHEESECAKE
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in the sugar and salt. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the cream, lemon peel, and lemon juice. Pour the mixture into the cooled crust.
Place the springform pan in a roasting pan and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake 1 1/2 hours, or until the filling is puffy and golden on top but still jiggles slightly when gently shaken. Remove the springform pan from the water and cool on a wire rack at least 1 hour, then refrigerate at least 6 hours. Let the cake stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.
The cheesecake will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.
FOR A CHOCOLATE-GLAZED CHEESECAKE
8 ounces good-quality semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/2 egg, lightly beaten
In a small heavy saucepan, combine the chocolate and water. Set over low heat, stirring constantly until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the corn syrup and egg. Allow the mixture to cool slightly, then gently pour it over the cooled cheesecake. Chill for 1 hour, or until the glaze is set.
…then ENJOY! Look forward to more recipes from the Greyston Bakery Cookbook in the coming months.
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