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New York cheesecake

My recent success with a tarte au citron emboldened me to try one of my other favourite recipes, the good old New York Cheesecake. Most of my favourite memories of holidays and trips abroad  revolve around food and having enjoyed some of the best cheesecake in my life while in New York a while back, I’ve struggled to find one back home that comes even close.  While it’s been quite some time since I had the real thing and time might have dulled my memory a little, this comes pretty close to the ones I remember! I’ve made several visits to the Cheesecake Factory in my visits to the US and have enjoyed a Reese’s cheesecake, an Oreo cheesecake, even a red velvet cheesecake. The truth is, nothing ever comes close to the original, the vanilla just works perfectly with the tart creaminess!  If anyone has what they think is a better recipe, I’d love to hear it!

 

Ingredients

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan) / 356°F (320°F fan).

Grease and line a 23cm / 9 inches spring form cake tin.

Crush the biscuits with a rolling pin or in a processor into fine crumbs.

Add the biscuits to the melted butter and combine.  Place in the base of the cake tin and spread evenly.  Using a spatula, press down hard to create your base.

Put in the oven for 10 minutes before removing to cool.

Reduce the oven to 160°C (140°C fan) / 356°F (284°F fan).

In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  It’s best to work with the cream cheese by hand throughout and not to overwork it so you get the thick, creamy consistency.

Add the sour cream and cornflour and beat again.

Gradually add the eggs one at a time, beating continuously, before adding the vanilla and lemon zest.

Pour the cream cheese onto the biscuit base and bake for a further 45 minutes or until the cheesecake is just starting to golden around the edges.

Leave the cheesecake in the oven to cool with the door propped slightly open to prevent it from cracking.

Remove from the tin and grind some vanilla beans over the top.

Tips

Try mixing Ginger biscuits with your digestives to give your cheesecake an extra zing, just keeping the same total amounts.

Trivia

Cream cheese is intrinsically linked with the city of New York. The first cream cheese was made by there by New York dairyman William Lawrence in 1872. In 1880 it was branded “Philadelphia” because the city at that time was associated in the minds of all Americans with top quality food. At the same time, it was distributed in foil wrappers for the first time. In 1903, the Phenix Cheese Company of New York bought the Philadelphia trademark. Then in 1928, Phenix merged with the Mondalez International Cheese Company and the product began to be mass produced in a more consistent way. Philadelphia Cream Cheese was first sold in the UK in 1960 and the first TV commercial was aired in 1963. Over the following years, the product was updated and saw the introduction of different ranges such as Handisnacks and flavours.