Fifty years ago I tasted a cheese cake that was almost as light and airy as whipped cream. I never forgot it. The bakery was in Princeton, NJ and when I moved back to New York City I actually took a bus ride to the bakery trying to persuade them to give me the recipe. They promised they would send it but never did. Finally, all these years later, I figured it out. Instead of adding the whole eggs to the cream cheese batter, I separated them and whipped the egg whites with the sugar Italian meringue style. I added a little extra sugar to compensate for the sugar syrup that sticks to the sides of the pot.
The resulting cake is so fluffy it makes a sound when you put a fork to it.
Serves: 10 to 12
Oven Temperature: 350˚F/175˚C
Baking Time: 50 minutes (55 minutes if using a silicone pan instead of aluminum foil for the water bath), plus 1 hour with the oven off
Plan Ahead Make the cheesecake at least 1 day before serving.
Equipment One 9 by 3 or 2-3/4 inch high springform pan, lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray, set in a slightly larger silicone pan or wrapped with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil to prevent seepage; A 12 inch cake pan or roasting pan to serve as a water bath