2006 birthday cheesecake... one of many [birthdays and cheesecakes!]
We moved to upstate New York when I was five, and my grandmother made this for my eighth birthday cake. And for my ninth, tenth, eleventh... I love cheesecake, but not just any cheesecake. This one. I've endeavoured to introduce as many people as possible to this yummy cheesecake. It's definitely calorific, but worth it for a special meal or birthday!
NEW YORK BAKED CHEESECAKE
For the pastry, you could use a biscuit [cookie] base. I often do, as it's well-liked and easy. However, I would recommend trying this real pastry base. It is beautifully lemony and melt-in-the-mouth.
- 3/4 cup (6 oz) butter, softened
- grated peel from 1-2 lemons
- 1 1/4 cups plain white flour
- 1/4 cup golden caster sugar
- 1 egg yolk
Cream sugar and butter; add egg yolk and lemon peel. Stir in flour and mix well. Shape into a ball, wrap in greaseproof paper, and chill in fridge one hour. Pre-heat oven to 400F/ 200C/gas mark 6. Press 1/3 of pastry dough into the bottom of a 10" by 2 1/2" springform tin. Bake 8 minutes, then remove to cool. Afterwards, increase oven temperature to 475F/240C/gas mark 9.
- Five 8 oz packages cream cheese (2 1/2 lbs)*
- 3 TBS flour
- 1 3/4 cups raw caster sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 5 eggs
- grated peel from 2-3 lemons
- 1/4 cup milk
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Slowly beat in 1 3/4 cups sugar. Beat in 3 TBS flour and remaining ingredients. Beat five minutes; do not increase speed as the slow mixing incorporates air for a lighter cake.
Press remaining pastry around side of tin to within 1 inch of the top. Pour cream cheese mixture in; then proceed to bake for 12 minutes at 475F/240C/gas mark 9. Turn oven temperature to 300F/150C/gas mark 2, and bake 35-40 minutes longer, without removing cake from oven. Turn off oven; allow cheesecake to remain in oven for 30 minutes.
Remove; finish cooling on wire rack. Refrigerate until completely chilled before serving. If the cake cracks across the top, don't panic; it's a sign of a well-made cheesecake!
*If using reduced fat cream cheese, do not add the 1/4 cup milk. Increase the baking time for at least another 30-40 minutes. Normally, I use a lower fat organic soft cheese for this recipe and usually bake it for an extra hour. If you want to have an easy first-time experience making cheesecake, stick with regular old Philadelphia.