A cake steeped in New York history. The introduction of cream cheese in the late 1800s and the resulting wave of immigrants – Jewish and Greek – saw the first New York Cheesecake being sold on the Lower East Side in the 1920s.
This amazingly rich cheesecake is easy to make, although requires a couple of hours to cook and overnight refrigeration. Perfect for a crowd as can make the day before. Serves 8-10 generously
For the crust
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 and a ¼ cups granita biscuits crumbed (about 10 crackers)
2 tablespoons sugar
For the filling
1.25kg cream cheese at warm room temperature
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup plain flour
2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk
1 cup double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or essence
To make the crust, preheat oven to 165oC. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 23cm springform pan (cake tin). In a bowl, combine the melted butter, biscuit crumbs and sugar and stir until the crumbs are evenly moistened. If too moist, add a further crumbed biscuit.
Press the crumb mixture into the springform pan – evenly across the bottom and 4cm up the sides. Bake until the crust dries out slightly, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely in the tin on a wire rack.
To make the filling, put cream cheese in large mixing bowl and beat on high speed until smooth, about 5 minutes. Mix the flour and sugar together then add to the cream cheese mix and beat until well blended.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl with spatula to ensure mixture is evenly beaten.
Add eggs and egg yolk, one at a time beating after each addition. Add cream and vanilla and beat until combined.
Pour mixture into the spring form pan over the prepared crust.
Bake until the cheesecake is set and the centre jiggles slightly, usually about 80-90 minutes. Do not overbake.
Cool in pan on wire rack. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Before serving, unclasp the sides of the springform pan and remove. Cut the cake into wedges, served chilled with fresh berries or a coulis.