I dreamed of making a cheesecake reminiscent of Junior’s but what I ended up making was slightly different. For a start, I really didn’t want to have to make the sponge base which Junior’s has. I know it makes for a lighter base but I didn’t want it to end up with a soggy bottom after a day or two. I also like the texture that a biscuit crumb base gives and it is so much easier to make too. A traditional New York cheesecake also doesn’t include lemon zest, but I added it to mine as I like the citrus freshness it brings. Feel free to leave this out.
Rather than fiddling around with baking in a water bath, I used a low oven temperature instead. The end result is a cheesecake so much softer and lighter than any shop bought version.
I used a 9 inch spring form pan for this recipe.
For the base:
250g 50/50 mix of digestive and ginger nut biscuits
100g unsalted butter (melted)
For the filling:
840g (3 large packs) Philadelphia full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
170ml extra thick double cream/whipping cream
3 tbsp cornflour
175g caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 medium eggs
zest of 1/2 lemon, finely grated
1. Pre heat your own to 110C. Crush the biscuits in a freezer bag by bashing with a rolling pin. Mix the crumbs with melted butter and press firmly into your spring form tin to form an even base.
2. Put one pack of cream cheese in large bowl and about a third of the sugar and the cornflour, mix on low speed until creamy. Add the rest of the cream cheese one pack at a time, making sure to scrape down the sides occasionally.
3. Increase the mixer speed and beat in the rest of the sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the cream and lemon zest if using until just incorporated. Be careful not to over mix. The mix should be creamy and light.
4. Pour over prepared base and bake for 1hr 30min. Check after this time as ovens vary. This is where you will have to use your judgement. If it is still very jiggly, continue to cook for an additional 15min. Check again and cook for longer if necessary. If it only jiggles slightly in the centre, this is done. Allow to cool for couple of hours in the oven (to prevent any cracking). NB I had to cook mine for almost two hours but I think that was due to my cheesecake being thicker than the recipe I was following.
5. Refrigerate once cool for a few hours or as long as you can bear! Best eaten as fresh as possible, if not this will keep in the fridge for around 5 days.