A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 19, 2017
“Cheesecake is actually pie”

Many people have said that “cheesecake” is not “cheese cake,” but should be called “cheesepie” or “cheese pie.” “It’s hard to know whether the dessert we call “cheesecake” is really a pie or a free-standing pudding” was printed in Masters of American Cookery (1983), edited by Betty Harper Fussell.

“Cheesecake is actually a baked custard (like a creme brulée or flan)” was printed in Pizza Today in 2008. “Cheesecake is actually a custard pie” was a comment made in 2010.

“Boston Cream Pie is actually cake.  Cheesecake is actually pie.  (Well, tart, but close enough.)” was posted on Twitter on May 3, 2009.


Wikipedia: Cheesecake
Cheesecake is a sweet dessert consisting of one or more layers. The main, and thickest layer, consists of a mixture of soft, fresh cheese (typically cream cheese or ricotta), eggs, and sugar; if there is a bottom layer it often consists of a crust or base made from crushed cookies (or digestive biscuits), graham crackers, pastry, or sponge cake. It may be baked or unbaked (usually refrigerated). Cheesecake is usually sweetened with sugar and may be flavored or topped with fruit, whipped cream, nuts, cookies, fruit sauce, or chocolate syrup. Cheesecake can be prepared in many flavors, such as strawberry, pumpkin, key lime, chocolate, Oreo, chestnut, or toffee.

Google Books
Masters of American Cookery—M.F.K. Fisher, James Andrews Beard, Raymond Craig Claiborne, Julia McWilliams Child
Edited by Betty Harper Fussell
New York, NY: Times Books
1983
Pg. 380:
CHEESECAKE It’s hard to know whether the dessert we call “cheesecake” is really a pie or a free-standing pudding. The one thing it would seem not to be is a cake. But cheesecakes they have been since at least the second century A.D., when, as Fisher reminds us, Athenaeus of Rome described the cheesecake sent to Socrates by his lover Alcibiades. Socrates’ wife took it in snuff and stamped on it.

Google Books
Pizza Today
Volume 26, Issues 1-6
2008
Cheesecake is actually a baked custard (like a creme brulée or flan) and should be handled as such.

Twitter
PaceIsNotLegend‏
@PaceIsNotLegend
Wondering if cheesecake is really pie.
1:12 PM - 7 Oct 2008

Twitter
ChristineSchultheiss‏
@cschultheiss
I postulate that cheesecake is actually pie.
12:47 PM - 6 Mar 2009

Twitter
Pie Maven‏
@PieMaven
Boston Cream Pie is actually cake.  Cheesecake is actually pie.  (Well, tart, but close enough.)
7:53 PM - 3 May 2009

Twitter
Kem 👩🏾‍🔬 🔬 📊‏
@kemdoc
Replying to @NaomiER
@NaomiER i’m at a banquet where this dude said that cheesecake is really a pie and boston crème pie is realy a cake. ah dinner discussions
5:19 PM - 24 Jul 2009

Twitter
twitfools‏
@twitfools
RT @dudeman718: Cheesecake is really Cheese PIE! Cake doesn’t have a crust. But Cheesepie sounds gross so we all live a lie (via @HalSparks)
10:04 AM - 6 Sep 2009

Fine Cooking (September 18, 2009)
Cheesecake or Cheesepie?
By Brian Geiger
(...)
Given all of the above, let’s talk about cheesecakes. Generally cheesecakes are cylindrical, 4-6″ tall or more, have a baked custard center, and a crumb crust. With a minor change in appearance, any pastry that is a crumb crust filled with custard and baked, in my mind, is a pie. The addition of cream cheese is no more a disqualifier than the addition of bourbon would be.

So, in short, a cheesecake is a pie. It can also be a cake, but it can’t not be a pie.

22 June 2010, Courier-News (New Bridgewater, NJ), “Humor Me” by Ed Katz, pg. ?:
“What’s your favorite cake?” Boy, this oughta be sweet..
(...)
CRAIG CARMEAN: Black forest cherry cake. I would say cheesecake, but cheesecake is actually a custard pie.

Reddit—Food
Is cheesecake considered a cake or a pie? self.food
Submitted October 25, 2010 by RobertLincoln
We have had a debate all day at work whether it is a cake or a pie. Please help!
COMMENTS
Kimos
And Alton of Brown sayith onto them:
basic cheesecake only contains some sugar, vanilla, eggs and dairy. It’s a custard no matter how you cut it.
The Book of Good Eats 5:07

maragesic
It is actually most similar to a custard, not cake or pie, both in its ingredients & method of cooking.

Reddit—Change My View
CMV: Cheesecake is a pie
submitted May 7, 2014 by jpariury6∆
Sure, I get it. It even has “cake” in the name. But come on…
1. It has a crust. Cakes don’t have crust. Cakes are, ostensibly, all crust… thick, spongy crust.
2. It has a filling. While some cakes have a thin layer of flavoring or two, you know what usually has filling? Pie.
3. Cupcakes are cakes that fit in your cup. What sane person would make a cheesecake that fits in a cup? ( These people are clearly insane.)
4. You can frost a cake. No one frosts a cheesecake.

Reddit—Shower Thoughts
Cheesecake doesn’t taste like cheese or cake
submitted May 8, 2015 by StoneByNameAndGame
Edit #1: I’m still just as confused about cheesecake. I believe it should be a cream cheese pie
COMMENTS
ki11bunny
It’s made from creamed cheese and is baked like a cake. This is why it is called cheesecake.

Reddit—Shower Thoughts
A cheesecake is really a pie, not a cake.
submitted October 23, 2015 by TheFightingRock
COMMENTS
super_ag
A custard to be more precise.

SpastixFantastix
Boston Cream Pie is really a cake.

Reddit—Change My View
CMV: Cheesecake is really a pie, and shepherd’s pie is really a cake.
submitted May 21, 2016 by Childofthetundra
The first one seems beyond dispute to me. It’s a crust with filling and you can make it in a pie-tin.
The second one seems more of a stretch, but I’ve thus far been dogmatic about it.
A cake is usually something that contains layers, has a uniform exterior, is moderately thick, and that you can make in a bundt pan (though you may not wish to).
Some people argue that shepherd’s pie is a casserole — which doesn’t seem crazy. But I haven’t seen compelling evidence to rule it out from being a cake?
Lastly, some argue that shepherd’s pie can’t be a cake because it isn’t a dessert. To them, I would point out crab cakes, risotto cakes, polenta cakes, and the existence of Irish people.

Washington (DC) Post
Cheesecake is not cake, and other ways words can trick you
By Gene Weingarten September 22, 2016
(...)
Cake vs. pie
Specifically, is cheesecake really cheese pie?

This is very much like the nerdy question about whether a tomato is a vegetable or a fruit. Everyone calls it a vegetable, but that is only because, in general, everyone is an idiot. A tomato plant has flowers and its edible part has seeds inside; ergo, it is a fruit. More shockingly, so are cucumbers. Squash! Olives! Eggplants!

Definitions define. What defines a cake as opposed to a pie is the presence of flour in the filling. Cheesecakes have no flour. Cheesecake is really cheese pie.

Reddit—Shower Thoughts
Cheesecake is really a pie and boston cream pie is really a cake.
submitted February 16, 2017 by sorryisuckatlife

Reddit—Shower Thoughts
Cheesecake is actually pie.
submitted October 20, 2017 by danwebb287

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Thursday, October 19, 2017 • Permalink