New York Cheesecake

I love New York cheesecake, so I thought I’d have a go. We tend to bake them and them cut into slices for the freezer – that way we can defrost them as and when we want! I love this recipe, adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s on The Guardian column. It has a lovely mellow lemon flavour whilst the cake itself is very creamy and smooth with a lovely sour cream topping! Here’s how to make it.

New York Cheesecake, makes one 22cm cheesecake

Preparation time : 1 hour + overnight

Baking time : 2 and a 1/2 hours

For the base;

-100g butter (about 85g melted and 15g softened)

-170g digestive biscuits

-1tbsp golden caster sugar

-a pinch of salt

For the filling;

-200g golden caster sugar

-3tbsp plain flour

-a pinch of salt

-900g full-fat soft cheese (I like Philadelphia)

– 200ml sour cream

-2tsp vanilla extract

-zest of 1 lemon

-3 large eggs and 1 yolk

For the sour cream topping;

-200ml sour cream

-1tbsp golden caster sugar

-2tsp lemon juice

Once you’ve raided the supermarket for all that, you can start making the cheesecake (be warned that the mountainful of cream cheese and sour cream is not too much, though I know it very much looks it!)

First grease the tin and line with greaseproof baking parchment. I like to grease the paper too just in case the base sticks. Next my favourite part. Crush the biscuits, I did this one of those ‘zip-lock’ bags and a rolling pin. If you don’t feel angry, you can of course use a blender and gently pulse the biscuits until they resemble fine breadcrumbs.


Pour the biscuit crumbs into a bowl and stir in the melted and softened butter. When it is all bound together, press gently into the base of the cake tin trying to get an even distribution that is smooth across the whole area.

Bake the base at 190 degrees Celsius for 10-12 minutes.

Now make the filling by first stirring together the sugar, flour and salt in a small bowl. In a large separate bowl, beat the cream cheese until soft and fluffy.


Add one third of the sugar/flour/salt mix (see photo above left) to the cream cheese (see photo above right). Also add one half of the sour cream to the cream cheese bowl. Continue to do this until all the sugar, flour, salt and sour cream are thoroughly mixed in with the cream cheese to create a very smooth consistency.



Now add the vanilla extract and lemon zest. Finally add the 3 eggs one at a time plus the single yolk.

The finished cheesecake mixture

Brush a little butter onto the sides of the tin with the biscuit base in. Now wrap tin-foil around the tin coming up a few centimetres above the sides of the tin. Repeat so that you have two layers of tin foil encasing the cake tin. This is so that when cooked in a bain-marie, no water will seep into the cheesecake. Then pour the cream cheesecake filling on top of the baked biscuit base and use a spatula to smooth out to create a level top. Place your filled cheesecake into a deep baking tray and carefully pour boiling water into the tray so that the level of the water reaches about halfway up the cheesecake tin. (see photos below)


Bake at 170 degrees Celsius for an hour to an hour and three quarters until the middle of the cheesecake is firm.

Now to make the sour cream topping, stir all the topping ingredients together and spread an even layer over the cake (I would advise allowing the cake to cool for 15 minutes first).

Place this monster of a cake in the fridge and leave to set overnight (I would only remove the tin foil before doing this and leave the cheesecake in the cake tin). Serve when you please.


cooked as part of this menu


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